Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Resolution No. 4—Customs.

I move that the Dáil agree with the Committee in Resolution No. 4.

I move amendment No. 1:—

To delete Reference No. 1 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

I would like to indicate that with a view to giving us an opportunity of comparing the tariffs that he was putting on here and tariffs, if any, already imposed, on articles mentioned in the Schedule, the Minister indicated that he would circulate a memorandum that would meet some of the questions we asked when we last discussed this matter. The Minister has not circulated any memorandum that would help us, so that we are now left without any information beyond the proposal, so far as No. 1 is concerned, to put 9d. per cwt. on Plaster of Paris, Keene's cement and Parian cement, and at the same time to operate licence conditions whenever he thinks that these products should be brought in without duty. I hope that the Minister realises he is asking the House, without any explanatory statement, to impose a substantial burden of taxation on people by a whole series of new taxes ranging from 40 to 75 per cent. That is one point. The other point is that he contends he is going to create a certain amount of industry and employment. We do expect, when we are asked to place a fairly substantial tariff on a wide range of articles, that the Minister will give some information as to his object in doing so and what prospect there is of achieving that object.

I would like to ask the Minister how far this duty is intended to go. I take it that it is not intended to go any further than plaster of Paris, Keene's cement and Parian cement. Plaster of Paris, Keene's cement and Parian cement have a certain family resemblance in that they are the products of burning gypsum to various stages, driving off portion or all the water of crystallisation. There are a couple of other things, such as slabbing plaster and Roman cement, and I take it that they are not intended to come under this category and that this category is only for the articles mentioned in the Schedule. I will be glad to have some information on that point when the Minister is replying.

Deputy Dockrell is correct in assuming that the duty applies only to the articles mentioned in the second column, plaster of Paris, Keene's cement and Parian cement. With regard to the circulation of a memorandum, I think I explained here during an earlier consideration of these Resolutions, that it would be impracticable to circulate a memorandum explaining why it was considered desirable to impose certain duties. That is a matter that can be discussed now. A memorandum explanatory of the effect of the proposals could be circulated. In so far, however, as the duties imposed by Resolution No. 4 are concerned, not much additional information could be given over and above that contained in the Schedule.

Are they all new duties?

A number of them are new duties.

They are all new duties to this extent, that some of them have been in operation under Emergency Orders, but are now coming before the Dáil for the first time. Resolutions Nos. 10 and 11, which deal with the alteration, or amendment, or cancellation of existing duties where the Schedule contains references to previous enactments, are in a different category, and Deputies could reasonably expect a memorandum explanatory of the effect of these Resolutions. I understand such a memorandum is being prepared. I cannot say whether it will be ready this afternoon, but it will certainly be ready in the course of a day or two at the outside, before the Finance Bill is taken. With regard to the rest of Deputy Mulcahy's remarks, I gather he was complaining that I did not explain the effect of the tariff and the reason for imposing it. My answer is that the Deputy did not give me a chance, because by tabling his amendment he got the right to speak first and he did so. I assumed that when he put down his amendment he intended to give the reasons why the duty should not be imposed.

I intended to give the Minister an opportunity of dealing separately with these items, an opportunity that I believe he would be glad to escape if he could do so.

I do not intend to escape it. Without the aid of Deputies and amendments in the past, we have adopted the practice of taking each reference separately and discussing it separately.

The Minister flatters himself, and draws on his imagination, too.

If the Deputy's intention is as he has stated, then I welcome his co-operation. It gives me the opportunity, which I intended to make available in any event, of explaining the nature of the proposals embodied in the Schedule and the results which we think will follow from their enactment. If I may make a general reference, at this stage, I would like to say that a large number of the tariffs set out in the Schedule are of minor importance. They represent minor additions to our tariffs lists, which will not in themselves involve any substantial industrial development. A few of them are of importance, and may have important reactions on employment and industrial production generally. The first represents plaster of Paris, Keene's cement, and Parian cement. These articles so described are produced from gypsum. The purpose of imposing a tariff of 9d. per cwt. is to afford protection to that industry in the Saorstát. The production of plaster of Paris from gypsum was commenced by a company formed for the purpose some time ago. Gypsum deposits in County Cavan are being worked for the purpose of producing this plaster of Paris. The Saorstát market for that commodity is valued at about £17,000 a year, and it is anticipated that the whole of that market can be supplied from the County Cavan deposits. Plaster of Paris produced there is of a very satisfactory quality, and is available at the same price as the best British product.

The Department of Local Government and Public Health have had experience of the quality of this plaster and they are quite satisfied with it, and have expressed their willingness to specify the sole use of Saorstát plaster in the erection of houses subsidised under the Housing Acts. Furthermore, the Department of Local Government and Public Health, which is definitely interested in matters relating to housing, and the cost thereof, have raised no objection to the imposition of the tariff. An appreciable amount of additional employment for adult men will result from the granting of this protection. The amount of the duty is not heavy but it will, in our opinion, be adequate to afford the protection necessary to secure the development of these deposits.

The power to grant licences, when necessary, is to ensure that there will be no difficulty in allowing requirements to be met during the period that the plaster of Paris works in County Cavan may be developing so as to be fully adequate to supply our needs. Having regard to the undesirability of holding up housing activities, or increasing the cost, it was considered desirable in that period to have power to issue licences for the free importation of plaster of Paris. I do not anticipate that these powers will have to be used, to any extent, because I understand the Cavan Company will very soon be in a position to supply in full the country's requirements of these products.

Would the Minister say if he discussed the facts with the Cavan Company before putting on this duty? Will he also say if he got information as to the amount of adult employment given at the present time and of the amount that it is expected will be given when the requirements of the country are being dealt with in the Cavan works?

I could not give the number.

So the Minister is putting on a tariff without going into that question. Can he say what the ad valorem value of the 9d. per cwt. duty will be?

I am told this plaster of Paris is sold at £2 per ton.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 2:—

To delete reference No. 2 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

I am moving this amendment in order to delete reference No. 2, which puts a 40 per cent. duty on whip-thongs and whip-lashes. The Minister's action in this connection, I think, requires some explanation. In the case of plaster of Paris the Minister made no attempt to give any opinion as to the number of men employed in the Cavan works or likely to be employed, or to give the amount of money expected to result from this tariff. Is he in a position to give any information as to the extent of the new employment that will be effected by the imposition of this 40 per cent. tariff on whip-thongs and whip-lashes? On the other hand, is he in a position to say how much increased revenue will arise out of the imposition of this duty?

I do not think this tariff will result in any substantial increase of employment. These articles are made by harness makers throughout the country. An application was made for the imposition of this tariff, and I could see no good reason why it should not be imposed. The rate of duty was determined by the fact that it is the same rate that applies to other leather-manufactured articles. It is desirable, from the point of view of administration, that we should, if possible, have a uniform rate on all articles of a similar kind manufactured of leather. The present rate is 40 per cent., and for that reason this duty was adopted in this case. It is not possible to give any estimate of the quantity of these goods that will be required over any period. No statistics are available. I am not putting this tariff forward as a serious contribution to our industrial policy. It is a small matter. But on the ground that producers should be assisted to develop their production by protective duty, if necessary, I can see no reason why it should not be done here.

The explanation is: it was asked for.

The general tariff is so high that whip-thongs and whip-lashes must be taxed to the extent of 40 per cent.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 3:—

To delete reference No. 3 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

The general complaint about many of the schedules in the Act of last year was that some group of Government inspectors had searched every corner of the poor man's house and had put a tariff on everything that came under his eye, from the linoleum on the floor to the paper on the wall.

There is no protective duty on wallpaper.

There is. We were told that big industrial development was coming in the manufacture of wallpaper; but that is all the Minister knows about it. Coming to the schedules to-day, we find that the inspectorial swarms have gone round again to the poor man's house. Now we are going to have a tax on pepper, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. I think the Minister would be well advised to leave the ginger and the nutmeg and the pepper in the list this year, considering he is making such a strong effort to try to make people forget what happened last year. I oppose the putting on of an additional tax on the household budget of the ordinary worker of 6d. per lb. on pepper and whatever goes on cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

What about the ginger of the Labour Party?

I did not catch the reference. The fact is that we are not putting a tax upon any of the articles set out there except they have been ground before importation.

Who grinds cloves before importation?

The total value of the imports of pepper and spices into the Saorstát, all of which are at present ground before being imported, is about £14,000 per year. We have been able to make an estimate that if the commodities are imported in an unground state the value of the imports would be reduced by about £5,000, and that some new employment would be created by the doing of the grinding process in the Saorstát—direct employment in the grinding process and indirect in the production of the containers, etc. Arrangements have been made for the grinding of pepper and spices here, and these arrangements are such as to ensure that the supplies of the country will be met. The retail prices of the finished product will not be affected by having the grinding done here.

As, however, the production may not yet be sufficient to ensure that requirements can be met in full in the immediate future, a licensing provision is being inserted, and that will be used temporarily only, and for the purpose of enabling requirements to be met in the event of there being any deficiency in the home production. It will not be an important industry, but in so far as the retail prices will be the same, in so far as the work can be done here, and in so far as certain employment can be given in the doing of it, and the value of our imports can be reduced by some amount by the doing of it, I know of no reason why it should not be done.

There is a very good reason why it should not be done.

I shall be glad to hear of it.

It does not surprise me that the Minister has not heard of it. The Minister says the value of these imports amounts to £14,000. How many firms can profitably engage in the grinding of that amount of merchandise? One—and that firm will not be profitably occupied; it will have to do it as a side line of some packing process. That means that you are going to create a complete monopoly in the sale of ground spices in this State, because if anyone wishes to compete he must pay 6d. per lb. on anything he brings in for the purpose of competition. It would be out of the question to set up equipment to carry out the grinding process in more than one establishment, because there will not be sufficient occupation for two men for more than six weeks or two months to grind all the spices named in this schedule and consumed in Saorstát Eireann.

There are, to my knowledge, at least nine grades of white pepper which can be at present purchased on the London market, which is the great centre of the spice trade for this part of the world. The man who gets the concession under this tariff will bring in any pepper he likes and grind it, and if you do not like it you can lump it. I am just taking one head. Pepper is an article which extends from highly aromatic spices down to something which closely approximates to sand which comes within the legal definition of pure pepper. The person who gets this concession cannot carry nine grades of white pepper, five grades of black pepper, seven or eight grades of ginger, and the various grades of each of these comestibles, with the result that the distributors to this country must take whatever is offered in the form of pepper by this one individual, or else pay 6d. per lb. on the imports.

I have repeatedly pointed out in this House, and I sometimes despair of making any impression on the minds of Deputies, particularly Labour Deputies, that there are two ways of raising prices on the public. One is to add money to the marked price of a given commodity, and the other is to leave the marked price as it was and reduce the quality. By juggling in the qualities of comestibles like pepper, I can alter the margin of profit available on the sale of that commodity from 10 to 60 per cent. It is only when I get to such a wide differentiation as that the ordinary consumer will be able with confidence to go back to his grocer and challenge the comparative qualities of the pepper I have been supplying. But if I choose to alter the margin of profit, say, from 10 to 40 per cent., no ordinary person consuming that comestible can confidently say that the quality of what I was giving was substantially lower than what I used to give.

The form of this Resolution is going to create a monopoly in these commodities. It certainly is going to affect the value that the consuming public is going to get. But one of the greatest dangers is that it is going to inform every grocer in the country that any obligation that he had to his customers to look for the best value he could get for them has now gone by the board so far as these things are concerned. All that he is now allowed to do is to send his order to whoever has got what will be a monopolistic concession and take what he gets. If retail distributors in this country had any justification for their existence, and, being one of them myself, I think they have, I believe it was that our duty was to search the markets of the world and provide for our customers the best value that our money could buy. If we fail to do that, and the Government are gradually driving us into the position that it is no longer possible to do it, I say that every merchant will become a parasite on the body politic. He is simply a person who is skimming a profit off the merchandise that travels from the Government-controlled monopolist out to the consumers of the country. In so far as all these commodities are concerned, any person who distributes them simply becomes a public nuisance. It would be much better to get rid of him and let people who want pepper go to a depot and get it, because there will be only one quality of pepper, only one quality of ginger, only one quality of nutmeg, and only one quality of the other commodities set out in this list.

That is one aspect of the question. The other aspect to which I wish to direct the Minister's attention is the inclusion of an article called curry powder mentioned in M. This is a purely vexatious provision. Curry powder is a compound product and very few people use it. Those who do use it have fads and attach special importance to getting certain curry powders which they have always been in the habit of using. Just because the Minister takes a whim, he inserts the words "curry powder" there. It does seem ludicrous to object, because the amount of curry powder coming in would not be more than £100 per annum. But, simply because we stick it into that Schedule, we are going to carry into the houses of those individuals who like that particular thing an inconvenience and an annoyance out of all proportion to any benefit that can be conferred upon the community by including curry powder there. We know that pepper is pepper, but curry powder is of a particular quality according to the person who manufactures it. All this tariff legislation is bound to give rise to a good deal of personal inconvenience here and there. Generally, if we accept the Minister's philosophy, which I do not, one must reconcile oneself to the fact that individual members of the community must be expected to bear those inconveniences with equanimity, but there is no necessity to accentuate them beyond what is necessary for the implementation of the Government's policy. To include an article like curry powder there is a kind of Hitlerite gesture of the Minister, who does not give a damn. If he annoys somebody, if he puts them out, well, they are just another egg that must be cracked in order to make an omelette. My suggestion is that he should not crack eggs when there is no necessity to crack them. Taking the 200 or 300 people who use this comestible every year in the country, there is no use in cracking them and giving them a weekly annoyance through their inability to get a trivial thing of this kind when no proportionate advantage is going to accrue to the community.

As usual, Deputy Dillon knows all about it. My information is that at least two or three firms propose to engage in this business.

Will the Minister say in what part of the country those firms are, and what amount of employment will be given by them?

I am not in a position to say that.

The Minister informed us that the differences between the imports, ground and unground, is £5,000. That is the entire difference between the two. Let us say that £3,000 of that will go to grinding and £2,000 to packing. How in the name of Providence can three firms profitably engage in a business the total remuneration from which is £3,000 per annum?

The Deputy is assuming that they are going to engage in this business exclusively.

I am not, but I am assuming that they are going to equip their establishments with the proper grinding equipment. You cannot grind spices with a mangle.

The Deputy knows all about it. He knows more about it than the people who are proposing to do it.

There is no use in getting offensive. I have been a grocer for several years, and have no apology to make for it. I take it that it is our duty to place any information we have at the disposal of the House and the Minister when the occasion arises. One does not require to be a grocer or an expert to be able to tell the Minister that you cannot go out to a laundry and grind up nutmeg in a mangle. You must put in proper equipment for spice grinding. You cannot use the same equipment for the grinding of bay leaves and pepper. A nutmeg will not fit through the same mesh as a grain of pepper. The Minister should know those things without turning to an expert for information on them; but does he expect us to believe in anything he says when he tells us that three firms at least are going to divide between them £3,000 worth of business? If he does, he expects us to believe that when Swift wrote about Gulliver's travels to Liliput he meant that to be taken literally.

It was a pity that the Minister, in imposing extra taxes of this kind, did not extend employment. Did I correctly understand the Minister to say that at least two or three firms were to engage in this business?

At least two or three firms have proposed to engage in it.

Two or three firms! Not three, not two—two or three firms! If that is the kind of information the Minister has, it is no wonder he does not let the House into his confidence. Two or three firms!

How many would the Deputy want?

I think the whole thing is absurd, and I think the Minister's figure is absurd. You are either going to have a monopoly or you are putting a tax on. If you are not giving them a monopoly you are putting a tax on, and in either case the Minister has not shown that there is going to be an increase in employment. There is never a tariff he puts on that is not going to produce that result, according to him. An increase in price is the inevitable result of putting on taxation. The Minister's only idea of decreasing the price of what the people eat is by taxing them more heavily. You put on a tax of 6d. Is that meant to be prohibitive? We have no idea. We were not told. The only thing the Minister told us, before he lost his temper, was that he was welcoming the opportunity of giving information to the House. I must say that he is not making much use of his opportunity of giving information to the House.

My objection is that Deputy Dillon insisted on giving information to the House——

Quite. The Minister objects to information.

——which is entirely inaccurate.

The Minister objects to information. I think that is the whole tone the Minister has adopted in recent times in this House. It is an excellent introduction to single-Chamber Government. First of all, the House does not get information from the Minister, and the Minister is not going to allow Deputies, who know something about business, to give that information. He should not display his constant loss of temper in the House. It is quite obvious that the Government is getting tired. We see one Minister after another, without any provocation whatever, losing his temper instead of giving information.

Of course, we are tired. We are bored stiff.

Quite. It is the same idea expressed in different terms—refusal to give information. On every subject in regard to which the Minister can refuse to give information he does so.

Properly described as "Hitlering."

There is no information as to the amount of work to be given. There is only the vague phrase that more work will be given. Two or three factories are to divide £5,000 between them. I can quite believe it. Yesterday, I was speaking to a friend of mine who was going down the quays on business and he said to me: "I have to climb up to the top of the house to get to this particular business, but I will pass three factories on the way up."

One cannot help wondering why it is at this hour of the day, after so many tariffs have been discussed, and after so many tariffs have been several years in existence, Deputy Dillon, for instance, who has been so many years in business, cannot quote examples of those inconveniences which he always associates with each tariff that comes up for discussion here. Surely it would be much more convincing if he were able to tell us "the same thing will happen here as happened with regard to So-and-so." This is not the first tariff of its kind, and we would be more in sympathy with this case if he were not so very theoretical. He might give us some examples of the great inconveniences caused by those arrangements for packing and grinding in the Saorstát.

Monopoly. I refer the Deputy to the Westport Thread Company. If the Deputy wishes me to make a speech about that later on I shall be pleased to do so.

It is hardly comparable.

It is going to be a monopoly, the same as that.

Deputy Dillon and several other Deputies on that side are in business and ought to have experience of this kind of thing. We would be a lot more in sympathy with them if they could point to the disorganisation of their business, and to the inconveniences caused to their customers by the tariffs which have already been imposed. Evidently, there is no example of that kind to be quoted. The real reason why I stood up was to ask the Minister whether, in fixing tariffs of this kind, this point has been taken into account —that at present a great deal of those goods comes in through the different ports around the country, Galway, Limerick, Tralee, Cork, and so on. Obviously, the freight is very small. Under the system of grinding and packing in the Saorstát, presumably all those goods will be distributed from the one centre. I should just like to know, for my own information, whether in fixing the tariff consideration has been given to the increased cost of distribution of the product. If not, it would look as if the tariff could not be a success. If those articles now being ground, say, in Dublin have to compete with the finished product imported direct to Limerick or Tralee, will the tariff be sufficient? I think that with regard to some of the tariffs already imposed that difficulty has arisen. Firms distributing from Dublin found that they were far from having the advantage which they at first seemed to have—that on account of cheap sea freights, and so on, the tariff did not give them that advantage that had seemed to be promised when it was first proposed to them.

Were they hoping for protection from internal competition as well as for protection from external competition?

What I am talking about is not protection from internal competition, but protection from external competition, where the article is going direct to the town where it is required. Take the case of a firm here distributing from Dublin, it is in competition with Liverpool when it comes to sell its products in a seaport town in this country. I should like to know from the Minister whether, in fixing the tariffs, considerations of that kind are taken into account.

I am not a business man. Deputy Moore spoke more or less from the business man's point of view in connection with this particular tariff and seemed to think that the business people may not get as much advantage out of it as they ought to get. A lot of people were congratulating themselves that there was nothing particularly hot in the Budget this year. Well, here is the spice and the ginger now. It is in this and the other Resolutions that are being proposed here. When the people come finally to get some knowledge of all of them, they will find that they are only new methods of extracting money from the people, apart from what the Minister put in the Budget, and when the Minister comes in here and tells us coolly and calmly that there are going to be no extra costs on pepper, ginger or any other spice, we shall take it with a grain of salt. I think that Deputy Dillon was right when he said that you will either have to pay the piper or the pepper—either you will get worse pepper or you will have to pay more for it. Deputy Moore almost confirmed the fact that we are either going to pay more or get less value for our money when he said that the Minister had not taken into account, when putting on the sixpenny duty, whether it would cover everything, including, say, the cost of freight from Dublin to Limerick.

Surely I made no assertion. I merely asked the Minister a question.

You asked whether the Minister had taken into account whether or not this tariff would be sufficient to cover all of this. In other words, I take it that the Deputy's point was that there would not be sufficient room in a tariff of that kind. I am afraid it will mean either an increase in the price or a reduction in the quality of the commodity, and that it will be just like the other cases of 25 per cent. and 75 per cent. tariffs in connection with other commodities. It appears to all of us that when a duty of 6d. a pound eventually gets, by that 6d. a pound eventually gets, by one way or another to the customer. Either it is added on to the price of the commodity which the consumer buys or there is an equivalent reduction in the quality of the article. That has been the experience of people in connection with the majority of the tariffs introduced in this State, and I do not think that anybody can point to the contrary.

I should like to know, Sir, would the Minister answer Deputy Moore's question?

I understand that we are not in Committee.

There is one point in this discussion which, in case a wrong impression should be given to the House and in case some of us might be taken as being in agreement with it, I should like to have made clear. When is a monopoly not a monopoly? That is the point which was raised on this side of the House, I think, by Deputy Dillon. In one breath we are asked to consider giving a monopoly, with all the unfairness surrounding the granting of a monopoly; but in the next part of the discussion we hear of the case of an industry which is of such a small dimension in the particular product under discussion that it does not give any scope whatever for any other business to interfere with it or produce that commodity. If it is a small concern with, say, a production of only £2,000 or £3,000, will others be allowed to compete against that small industry so that it will be of no use to anybody, from the point of view of giving employment—or if it does give employment, it will be at such small, poor and hungry wages that it would not be worth while trying to tariff the industry into the country—or will that business be allowed to exist because it is a monopoly? These are points which very often go astray in this House, and they are points which are very serious in practical business.

If the Minister for Industry and Commerce intends to answer Deputy Dillon, I think he will have, from the crude way in which I have put the matter, the views of business-men in this connection. It would be very dangerous, indeed, to suggest that, because there is a monopoly in a certain small business, which does not lend itself to the entering of others into competition with it, that concern should be put down by reason of letting loose, or attracting, or encouraging others to go in and destroy that business, and, incidentally, to destroy themselves. This is a matter that has to be carefully watched and properly balanced as, otherwise, it will lead to chaos in trade and business in the country.

I am quite willing to deal with the points raised if I am allowed to deal with these points, Sir, without departing from the rules of order in connection with the consideration of these Resolutions in the various stages.

The trouble is that the Minister is asked, when each amendment is moved, to explain certain matters in connection with it. Later he is asked by the House to conclude. As we are not in Committee, the Minister should, like any other Deputy, speak only once to the amendment. However, if the House desires to hear the Minister, the Chair will not object.

I merely ask for your opinion, Sir.

Once would be nearly enough for the Minister to speak, if he were to come into the House in the spirit that he was going to tell the House what he knew; but in every case, although he indicated that he was in touch with the manufacturers beforehand, he has succeeded in avoiding giving the House any information.

I take it that the House desires to hear the Minister?

With regard to the point raised by Deputy Moore, the amount of duty considered necessary to limit importation of any class of goods and encourage their manufacture here at home is, of course, determined, having regard to all the considerations that naturally arise. It is quite true that, in so far as in any industry the number of centres at which the production of goods will take place will be less than the number of ports and harbours through which, previously, importation took place, a greater amount of internal transportation will become necessary when the goods are produced here instead of being imported. I think, however, that it is not unusual for traders to make a sort of general charge against the price of their commodities, designed to cover the cost of transportation to all centres.

On that account, they put themselves into a position to charge a fixed price for their products in different areas. It may not be the same price in all areas, as sometimes a different practice is adopted. Generally speaking, the amount of the tariff is determined with a view to securing that the whole of the market will be reserved for Saorstát producers, even though in particular localities and in certain harbour areas or remote districts that may not prove to be so. Deputy Minch raised a very important point when dealing with the speech of Deputy Dillon. You can rail against monopolies, and I take it that when Deputy Dillon does so, he is concerned more with whatever political propaganda he can make against the Government rather than putting forward a serious contention which the Dáil should take into account. As Deputy Minch stated, there was an obvious contradiction in the Deputy's speech. He denounced the idea of monopoly for this purpose and, at the same time, ridiculed the idea of the market being large enough to enable more than one firm to engage in the trade.

Where is the contradiction?

There was contradiction if it assumed that an effort should be made to establish the industry. If it is his view, and the view of his Party, that in no circumstances should an industry of this kind be established, then there is no contradiction, but if his view is that we should try to promote industry, particularly one that can be established without difficulty, one that involves no increase in price, even though the actual amount of employment given is small, surely it is better to put even one man to work here——

At any cost.

I did not say at any cost. I say that in any industry, particularly one in which no cost is involved, where it is a simple matter, and where not one additional halfpenny will have to be paid by the consumers of these goods in consequence of this, in my view it is much better to have production restricted to the number of units which can be economically established in this market. I would like to see industry regulated to that end. I think it would be beneficial to consumers as well as to the workers employed in the industry.

That is the philosophy underlying State socialism.

I do not care what it is underlying. In fact, we are not doing it, and for a large number of industries it is not being done. It is not being done in this industry. As far as this industry is concerned, anyone can get into it. There is no restriction so that there is no sense in talking about monopoly.

Except that the market is worth only £3,000.

It may be that a firm entering any market may by efficiency in production, or by some new process of manufacture which brings down the cost, drive rivals out of the market. That has happened in every age and in every country. It may happen here. So far as any impediment to newcomers to the industry is concerned, there is none existing in this case, and it is not proposed to create any. If two or three firms start in this line, it is quite possible that in a year or two there would be only one left, as that one will have got the market. That is quite practicable.

Practically inevitable.

Whatever the position is, there is no monopoly and, as far as the Government is concerned, the duty is imposed on the understanding that the grinding will impose no addition to the price. If the position works out as the Deputy fears, it will have to be reconsidered. Our experience is that our anticipations, as a consequence of industrial development and the imposition of tariffs, have been justified. As Deputy Moore pointed out, it is for those who contend to the contrary to produce concrete examples.

I take it that the Minister is open to conviction. He foresees that one firm will eventually monopolise this trade. That may happen, and is likely, in view of the fact that the total trade is worth £3,000. Let us assume that there are seven grades of pepper. The Minister stipulates that there will be no increase in price. The consumer has been paying 2d. an oz. for grade one pepper, and the monopolists, having got £3,000 worth of trade, proceed to offer grade five at a price which enables the retailer to sell it at 2d. an oz. But what is the retailer to do when he is confronted with a tariff of 6d. per lb. except to take whatever pepper is offered?

As a rule, they proceed to make their complaints to the Department of Industry and Commerce with very beneficial results to themselves.

And much consolation they get.

Question—"That Reference No. 3 stand"—put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 61; Níl, 41.

  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lavery, Cecil.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGuire, James Ivan.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Reilly, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Rogers, Patrick James.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Nïl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.

I move amendment No. 4:

To delete reference No. 4 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

There are two points in connection with this amendment. I think the Minister should tell us something about the pipe-manufacturing trade in the country. From reference No. 4 it would appear that the only thing we are able to do in the country is to stain and polish pipes, or when a hold 3-16ths of an inch in diameter is put through the stem, to enlarge it. We should like to know why a tariff of 37½ per cent. is put on manufactured pipes, what employment is given in the country at the present time on pipe-making, and what employment is likely to be given when this increased tariff is imposed. Under the heading of "Special Provisions" are the words:—

The provisions of Section 8 of the Finance Act of 1919 shall apply to the duty mentioned at this reference number.

I should like to ask the Minister what the effect of that provision is, because the reference to Section 8 of the Finance Act of 1919 does not clear up the situation in any way, as far as I can find out at any rate. Section 8 of the Finance Act of 1919 makes provision for a preference on goods consigned from, grown, produced or manufactured in the British Empire under the Second Schedule of the Act. There is nothing, however, about pipes in the Second Schedule of the Act. There is a reference to articles that were chargeable with the new import duty by Section 12 of the Finance Act of 1915. When we refer to the Finance Act of 1915, we find that the only articles dealt with are motor cars, musical instruments, clocks and cinematograph films, but there is nothing at all with regard to pipes. I should like to ask the Minister, if this provision is made operative by having some kind of connection with the Act of 1919, what exactly is the connection with the Finance Act of 1919 that would make it operative?

If the Deputy will refer to paragraph 3 in the Resolution he will see that the necessary provision is made to ensure that Section 8 of the Finance Act of 1919 will apply in this case. The effect in this case is to institute a preferential rate of two-thirds of the full rate for goods that are produced in Great Britain or any of the Dominions. The duty has been in operation for some years on pipes which at importation were valued at 1/6 or more. The effect of this reference is merely to reduce the price limit and to make pipes, which are valued at 1/3 or more at importation, subject to the duty because pipes of that value are now being manufactured here.

The sole effect, therefore, of the change is to bring the duty which has applied for some years to pipes over 1/6 in value into operation in respect of pipes over 1/3 in value. It is true that the complete manufacture of pipes in the Saorstát has declined for some time past. There have been certain changes in the pipe manufacturing business, and by specialisation in the production of the bowls in an unfinished state from the raw material certain districts on the Continent have, more or less, secured complete control of that business. Most, if not all, pipe manufacturers in Great Britain and in this country do not completely manufacture the bowl in the pipe. They adapt it, shape it and finish it, and otherwise prepare the pipe for use.

There are, in fact, 50 or 60 people employed in the pipe manufacturing industry here, and some increase in the number may result from the imposition of this duty. The increase may not be very great, having regard to the fact that a duty is already in existence upon a very large range of the products produced. The employment in the pipe manufacturing industry has, in fact, declined over the past decade or so. One effect of the duty may be to arrest a further decline. That decline, of course, has been occasioned by a change in the habits of smokers. Pipe smoking has lost its popularity as compared with the cigarette. There is still a very large variety of pipes manufactured here, and it is desired that, so far as it is possible to do so, employment should be given in their manufacture. The pipes produced here are of good quality and are available at a reasonable price. There is no reason why this assistance should not be given to the industry.

Can the Minister say whether the tariff, as operated in its old form, has had the effect of stopping the importation of pipes, and particularly those of the cheaper varieties?

The tariff has been more or less effective on the pipes to which it applies. The value of the pipes not subject to duty imported is about £9,000 per year.

Did that show any tendency to increase?

No. This change in the tariff has not been made because of any increased competition which the industry here is experiencing. It is due to the fact that the manufacturers have now embarked on a new line of production—of cheaper pipes than they produced heretofore.

I take it that pipes costing approximately 1/3 retail at about 2/- or below that, so that we may expect that wooden pipes costing about 2/- will still be freely available and that, if they are not, the Minister will put an enquiry as to whether a tariff of this kind is being used to get more than the producers are entitled to get?

The cheaper pipes are not subject to duty at all.

The Minister is now bringing the duty down to apply to pipes valued at 1/3. We may assume that the reason he has done that is because he finds that the pipes costing between 1/3 and 1/6 which were coming in can be manufactured here. I take it that these pipes were selling at about 2/-?

Therefore, if the 2/- pipe disappears off the market and a minimum price of half a crown becomes universal, I take it that the Minister will put an inquiry as to the reason why the 2/- pipe disappeared?

Certainly.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

On behalf of Deputy Mulcahy, I move amendment No. 5:—

To delete reference No. 5 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

Again, the effect of this reference is not to impose a new duty, but to alter, to some extent, an existing duty. There has been a duty on watch straps. The duty was 40 per cent. ad valorem, but it did not apply to watch straps imported when attached to watches. It only applied to watch straps when imported separately. The effect of the reference is to impose a minimum duty and make the duties apply to watch straps when imported attached to watches. The manufacture of watch straps is being done by a couple of firms in the country. As a very large proportion of the straps imported come in attached to watches, there is no reason why the duty should not apply to these straps because they can be manufactured here quite satisfactorily. A full range of varieties, both in respect of design and prices, is being so manufactured. The duty, therefore has been extended to cover these straps, while a 6d. minimum rate is being imposed because it is considered desirable to support the duty by such a provision. It has been our experience that upon articles which are themselves of small value an ad valorem rate, no matter how high, is usually not effective. We think that in the case of such articles the only effective form of protection that can be given is by a specific rate.

No increase in price?

There will be no increase in price.

Even though the ad valorem duty is no good, and even though they are given away for nothing?

They are, in fact, sometimes given away for nothing.

Would the Minister say what the reactions of this tariff will be on the provision in the Finance Act which requires watches to be assembled here? I understood that practically all the watches coming in were now assembled in the country.

The provision in the Finance Act applies to clocks and not to watches.

Were watches excluded from that?

Then watches are still coming in assembled?

If the Deputy would study our trade and shipping statistics he would find that they are coming in in greater numbers than ever. The increased prosperity of the country may not be the only explanation of that.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

On behalf of Deputy Mulcahy, I move amendment No. 6:

To delete reference No. 6 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

This, in a sense, is a package tax. This material, carbontetra-chloride, is a chemical that is used in the manufacture of fire extinguishers, and is generally imported in small containers. The packing of the commodity is now carried on in the Saorstát. A certain amount of direct employment is afforded thereby. In addition, there is not inconsiderable indirect employment in the manufacture of the necessary containers and packing materials. The Saorstát packed commodity is available at prices which are fully competitive with the prices of imported material, and the effect of this duty is to ensure that the importation of this material in small containers, ready packed, will be discouraged so that the packing of it here will be promoted.

The containers to which the Minister refers are, I think, of glass. I would like to know if he is now referring to the foam extinguishers. These, when struck on the floor, project a foam over a conflagration.

This is not a duty on fire extinguishers. It is only a duty on the material that goes into the fire extinguishers.

It is designed to get the material which goes into fire extinguishers put into a container which is enclosed inside the case of the fire extinguisher. So far as I am aware, the procedure is that you strike a knob. The knob moves an object inside of the fire extinguisher, which breaks this package. The contents then escape into the fire extinguisher and it bubbles out with foam over the conflagration. These fire extinguishers, unless properly made, are likely to explode and do a good deal of damage. I do not know how the containers are sealed, but I imagine that they are sealed by annealing the neck of a very fragile glass container. The carbontetra-chloride is contained in this glass flask, the neck of which is sealed by annealing. The safety of the fire extinguisher depends on that annealing being properly done. This is my submission to the Minister, because I am not speaking with first-hand knowledge I suggest to the Minister that expert advice should be sought as to whether adequate guarantees can be given that this work will be done properly, and in a manner which the manufacturers of the fire extinguishers will certify as adequate to maintain the efficiency of the extinguishers.

This work is, in fact, being done here now. There are fire extinguishers being produced here. I understand that some of these extinguishers have proven very satisfactory and are in general use. We are not proposing merely to have this material packed here. Fire extinguishers are being produced here at present and, I understand, are giving general satisfaction. The Deputy can be assured that the technical end of this industry is in safe hands.

If that assurance is comprehensive, my difficulty does not arise. Let me put this case: I have, say, 12 Minimax fire extinguishers. They have to be refilled from time to time with tetra-chloride. A man goes round to do that. If properly packed, all is well. If it leaks the extinguisher may explode or, when it comes to be used, the tetra-chloride may escape and the fire extinguisher be useless. If all the firms which have fire extinguishers in use here say that it is quite easy to have them refilled here, then the technical objection falls to the ground. I suggest to the Minister that an inquiry be made as to whether people who have fire extinguishers in use here are satisfied that refills can be supplied here.

This is not a thing which it is proposed to do. It is a thing which is being done.

Is packing being done?

For all makes of fire extinguishers?

I think so.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 7:

To delete reference No. 7 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

This reference imposes a duty of 50 per cent. on bells made of metal and not less than nine inches in diameter, measured externally at the mouth, and also on certain component parts of bells such as tongues, clappers, staples and so forth. The manufacture of church bells in the Saorstát is an old established industry. There is, however, only one firm engaged in the production of these bells at present—a firm in Dublin. The industry is a very highly skilled one, in which all male labour is employed. The Saorstát firm to which I have referred enjoyed for a number of years a very appreciable export trade. The imposition of duties by various countries upon their products has adversely affected that export trade. Furthermore, there has been some evidence that foreign manufacturers have on occasion obtained contracts for the erection of bells in churches and institutions in the Saorstát. It has been found difficult to ascertain precisely the value of these contracts but an estimate, prepared by the firm concerned, shows that church bells to the value of about £1,000 a year have been imported. It is a small industry and the effect of the duty may be more to preserve existing employment in it than to promote an increase. Having regard to the nature of the industry, the amount of skill required in it and the fact that it was at one time a very important industry in the Saorstát, one would not like to see it disappear. I think that it is desirable, therefore, that this duty should be imposed, so that the industry may be preserved to some extent. Having regard to the possibility that some classes of bells which the firm in question could not make may be caught by the duty, we have inserted a licensing provision, so that no difficulty will arise on that account. The intention is that the duty shall apply only to whatever classes of bells the firm concerned are in a position to supply.

Astonishingly enough. I find myself in the extraordinary position of agreeing with the Minister for Industry and Commerce in the imposition of this duty. I think that it is the kind of duty for which a very strong case can be made. It is designed to preserve a craft which might otherwise perish, a craft which, in time, may develop a very valuable market abroad of a purely luxury character. There is no danger whatever that this tariff will have serious repercussions on people who cannot afford the price. There is no question of the poor buying bells of this character.

Who else pays for them?

That may arise in another way. The reaction of this tariff on the section of the community least able to bear these burdens will be very limited. An extraordinarily attractive element in the proposal is that it does contain the possibility of reviving and maintaining a craft which may have considerable possibilities as regards an export market. Skilled craftsmanship is one thing of which we have as fine natural resources as any country in the world. In the exercise of it, we can compete with any country in the world. A tariff of this kind should commend itself to this House and I congratulate the Minister on its imposition. I think it is a most prudent departure and I regret that it was not brought to the attention of the House earlier so that all sides might join in conferring the protection we are now conferring on what I regard as a very desirable craft.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 8:—

To delete reference No. 8 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

There is a duty at present of 50 per cent. ad valorem on ladders and component parts made wholly or mainly of wood. In spite of that duty, however, the import of ladders during 1935 was not inconsiderable, amounting in value to over £2,000. In fact, the employment given in the ladder-producing industry decreased between September, 1935, and March, 1936. It is difficult to understand why that should be so. The ladders produced in the Saorstát are, I think, generally agreed to be of satisfactory quality, and they are available at reasonable prices. Nevertheless, the home firms are finding some difficulty in making headway in face of competition from ladders which are imported, apparently, at very low prices—prices which, it is contended, cannot be economic. In those circumstances it was considered desirable to support the ad valorem duty in operation by the imposition of a specific duty which, in this case, takes the form of a duty variable according to the length of the ladder. The duty is 3/- per rung in the case of extension ladders, and 1/6 per rung in the case of other ladders. The imposition of this additional duty has been undertaken upon satisfactory assurances from the firms engaged in this business that the price of their products will not be altered as a consequence. It is not an unimportant industry. Considerable employment is given in the production of these goods, and it is desirable that the whole of the production should be retained here if possible. I think that it is possible to do that without any ill effects on the users of these goods, because a comparison between the prices at which they are sold here and the prices at which corresponding goods are sold in Great Britain by firms producing them there shows that there is no difference which is detrimental to the interests of the users of these goods here. I, therefore, recommend that the variation in duty which is proposed here should be made, that is, that the existing duty of 50 per cent. ad valorem should be supported by this specific duty to which I have referred. In the case of certain classes of ladders there will, of course, be no alteration of duty at all. It is only in respect of ladders of which large importations are taking place that the additional duty will come into operation and will, we hope, be operative to prevent that importation.

What was the duty before?

50 per cent.

Here is the difficulty: How is it possible for us to defend the imposition of a duty in excess of 50 per cent. ad valorem on the manufacture of ladders? There is no question of ladders being produced on mass production lines. There is no consumption of ladders on mass production lines. Admittedly, any firm with a large output will be able to manufacture ladders more economically than a firm with a comparatively small output, but we cannot draw the antithesis there might be between Henry Ford & Co. in Detroit and an Irish motorcar manufacturing firm. There is no question of mass production over their individual production. There may be a difference between large and small outputs, but surely any legitimate difference that could exist between a large output and a small output could be met by a 50 per cent. tariff? If it is not adequately covered by a 50 per cent. tariff, must there not be some shortcoming on the part of the people here who are making the ladders? So far as I am aware, the extension ladders being made are excellent in quality, and, so far as I am aware, the ordinary ladders made here are excellent quality. I have heard no complaint, but must there not be something wrong if we have to put a duty of 3/- per rung on an extension ladder in order to meet external competition?

Can this House feel satisfied that, in the very vague observations which the Minister has made in reference to this heading, he has given any adequate reason for increasing an already very heavy tariff? I ask the House to understand what this means. The tariff at present stands at 50 per cent. That means that a ladder which is available in Great Britain for 50/- is costing the consumer here 75/-, and the Irish manufacturers are saying "We cannot produce a 50/- ladder in Ireland for 70/-."

No, on the contrary. In fairness to the Irish manufacturers, I should say that they contend that their list prices here are the same as the list prices in Great Britain.

Why are they not able to sell them?

Apparently the imported ladders are being sold here at a price much below the list prices in Great Britain.

Is it argued that everybody in Great Britain is selling ladders for less than cost, and, if they are selling ladders at less than cost, why are they doing it? Is it because they love our lovely blue eyes? Do they not know that, with the existing tariff policy of the Government of Saorstát Eireann, any attempt at dumping will be met by the unanimous support of this House for any tariff it is necessary to put on? They know our Party stands for tariffs against dumping. They know that the Minister's Party stands for tariffs against anything, and there is nobody in this House who will raise his voice in defence of the dumper. We have often said to the Minister:

"Demonstrate to us that anyone is trying to sell stuff here at a price below the cost of production and we will assist you to put on any tariff you may think necessary."

We have often urged on the Minister that if he can demonstrate to us that a foreign Government is attempting to finance dumping here, with a view to making manufacture on reasonable terms impossible in this country, we are prepared to co-operate in meeting that subsidy with any tariff necessary. What ladder manufacturer in England is going to throw his merchandise away for less than it costs him in an endeavour to get into a market which he knows will be closed to him the moment it becomes manifest that he is selling at less than the cost price? I do not believe anybody who tells me at this juncture that any foreign manufacturer of ladders is selling them in this country at an uneconomic price, because he knows perfectly well that he will be throwing his money away. There is no question of his being able to capture this market by any such method. That is what irritates me— that an attempt should be made to fob off this House with that kind of excuse. You are driven inevitably to the conclusion that the manufacturers of these ladders are invited to charge 70/- for a ladder here that would cost 50/- in Great Britain, and that is leaving them a difference of 5/- on a ladder between the price at which it could be imported and the price at which they are selling it. They come to the Minister for Industry and Commerce and say: "We cannot do it; we are being cut out by foreign competition," and we blandly announce that we are going to put 3/- a rung on ladders. That can only mean that for the 50/- ladder of British production, our `merchants are going to ask 80/- or more.

I say that is not meeting the responsibilities which these manufacturers should discharge to the community. We are prepared to give them protection; we are prepared to give them an advantage; and we are prepared to handicap foreign competition in order that they will get a fair crack of the whip; but they ought to exert themselves to produce the best that can be produced at a price as near the foreign price as is physically possible for them. I challenge any rational man to say to me that, on a 50/- ladder, we ought to give the Irish manufacturer a 30/- bonus, at the expense of the consumers. Very considerable damage is not going to be done to the community one way or the other, but it is the principle of the thing that is bad, and what I apprehend is, and I have said it here and elsewhere, that if that kind of argument is going to be made by Irish manufacturers. Irish industry is going to become identified in the public mind of this country with profiteering. I say that would be a great disaster and a grave libel on the majority of Irish industrialists here who have exerted themselves—in the boot trade, the confectionery trade, the furniture trade, the ready-made clothing trade, and a variety of other trades—to give the best value they can and have not sought to take the full advantage of the tariff, but, by their increased output, were able to bring prices well below the tariff level. Activities of this kind are going to asperse the fair name of these industrialists, and I think that, both from the point of view of principle and of the industrialists' reputation in this country, tariffs of that kind should not be granted unless a more convincing case is made for them than the Minister has been able to make to-day.

As I understand it, there is a certain speciality of extension ladder, for the manufacture of which there are no rights in this country. These are copper ladders, and when manufacturers or their agents are asked to supply this certain type of copper extension ladder, they have to be imported as they cannot be made here. Probably that is the Minister's difficulty in this respect.

Why does he not say that?

That may be so, but if manufacturers here cannot get patent rights or licences to manufacture specific classes of goods, that cannot be avoided. I am not basing any case for this tariff on that ground, although the manufacturers might. My contention is that imports have been subsidised by the firms which have been previously supplying this market and which are anxious to continue doing so.

Does the Minister believe that?

I ask the Deputy to carry out a simple test for himself. He can get the prices of this stuff from the firms producing these ladders here, and he can get the price lists of the firms selling similar ladders in Great Britain, and he can compare them. If he finds that the ladders imported by a firm in Great Britain are being sold here at prices a little above the price at which they are being sold in Great Britain, even though a tariff of 50 per cent. duty has been paid on them, he will come to the conclusion that either the prices here are being cut or that the articles are being sold at too high a price in Great Britain. The last conclusion would not be reasonable. I have no doubt that the firm which has had a monopoly of the ladder trade in this country is now fighting hard to put out of business new firms coming into this business and is trying to keep the market for itself. In these circumstances, it is quite legitimate for a firm to reduce their prices in order to hold their trade, but in so far as the price at which the Irish made goods is sold is quite reasonable in comparison with the English price—that is the price at which they are sold in Great Britain—and when we have an assurance that the prices charged here will not be increased, I think we can afford to give them additional protection.

Deputy Minch has told us that the firms that controlled the patent in England are producing these ladders. I understand the English firm are making these ladders here——

No. They were making a certain class of extension ladders but they suspended that recently.

The Slingsby Ladder Company were recently making ladders here.

They were but they are not making them now.

I saw them at the Spring Show advertised as Irish ladders, and so did Mr. Minch. Are they not still making them here?

No. The extension ladders are being made here by other firms.

The Slingsby Ladder Company made them.

At one time they did.

I have a feeling that on this matter we are not getting the information from the Minister that we ought to get. What is the design of the tariff?

The tariff is designed to prevent ladders being imported.

The real effect is to make your ladders here or to get out. Is the allegation made that the Slingsby Ladder Company is trying to knock out all other people?

The allegation is made that the price of the ladder produced here is quite reasonable; it is so regarded by the people who are in a position to judge. In spite of the 50 per cent. tariff, ladders are still being imported.

The Minister says that ladders are being dumped but Deputy Minch says that ladders are brought in because customers ask for them, no matter what the cost. What inducement is there to the Slingsby Ladder Company to cut prices? The Minister bases his tariff proposal on the ground that ladders are being dumped and sold at prices substantially less than those at which similar ladders are sold in Great Britain.

No. I said that with the 50 per cent. tariff they are being sold at a reduced price here.

We are told that the consignee here pays the duty, and sells the ladder at the same price as that at which the ladder is sold in Great Britain. But Deputy Minch says that customers come in and say, "I must have a Slingsby ladder, cost what it may." These two stories are quite irreconcilable. If Deputy Minch is wrong I am very much surprised because he is usually well informed in what he says. I think the Minister ought to make very careful inquiry and if he does he will find that there is no justification for asking for a tariff of 3/- a rung on ladders.

Is amendment No. 8 withdrawn?

I want more information from the Minister on this matter.

The Deputy has moved to delete the tariff. He can make further inquiry.

I asked for information from the Minister and the Minister admits that he does not know what the facts are.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

On behalf of Deputy Mulcahy, I move amendment No. 9:—

To delete reference No. 9 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

Reference No. 9 proposes a duty of 33? per cent. on card board stoppers or caps for bottles or jars. These caps are being used in large quantities and are now being produced here. It is, therefore, considered desirable that this duty should be imposed.

The description in No. 9 is:—

"discs, of cardboard, pasteboard, strawboard, millboard, or any similar material... suitable for use as stoppers or caps for bottles or jars."

What about cartons?

They are subject to duty already.

The Minister does not try to differentiate at the North Wall between the cardboard stopper and to ask whether it is for a jar or bottle or carton. I do not know what the tariff is on stoppers for cartons, but the sensible thing would be to make cardboard stoppers of this kind liable to the duty. It is a purely administrative matter.

Amendment No. 9, by leave, withdrawn.

On behalf of General Mulcahy I move amendment No. 10:—

To delete reference No. 10 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

This is only a minor change in definition. There is a duty of 50 per cent. on bias binding, and it is desired to provide that that will further apply to bias banding which is in use in the clothing trade.

What are the purposes of putting in the final words, "and intended for use in the manufacture or repair of articles made of textile material?" The Minister is aware that this is frequently used for trimming. Will that exclude it from the operation of this tariff?

No. The words in the description are "intended for use in the manufacture..." If the Deputy will look at the meaning of the word "manufacture," he will get the meaning more clearly. It is intended to put a duty on this when imported by a manufacturer.

I go down to a shop and buy a blue blazer, and when I bring it home somebody says it looks dull, and then I go and import one or two yards of this material. The Revenue Commissioners ask me do I intend it for manufacture, and I say "no," that I propose to trim a coat which has already been made. What is the position then?

I am afraid that would be considered the process of manufacture.

No; imports of bias binding for that purpose are very considerable.

Bias binding has always been liable to duty.

But the only point I am making is this: why put in the qualifying terms? If you are going to make bias banding dutiable, you ought to make it dutiable, but if you put in qualifying terms you are going to raise difficulties.

I think it is better leave it as it is. What is bias binding except strips of cloth cut on the bias? That is what it is.

Oh, indeed it is not.

It is necessary to have a definition which takes into account the use to be made of the material imported.

The Minister and I have been engaged in the trade in our day, and we both ought to know what bias binding is and is not. I invite him to refresh his memory on this matter.

Amendment No. 10, by leave, withdrawn.

On behalf of Deputy Mulcahy, I move amendment No. 11:—

To delete reference No. 11 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

This imposes a duty on concrete mixers. A few years ago a firm in Dublin commenced the manufacture of various appliances used in the building trade, such as concrete block-making machines, steel wheelbarrows, and so forth. The firm made very satisfactory progress along these lines and has now embarked on the manufacture of concrete mixers. The demand for concrete mixers in the Saorstát is fairly considerable and the article produced here, which is quite a satisfactory one, is sold at a very competitive price. The manufacturers have given an assurance that the price will not be increased following the imposition of the duty. The duty which is being imposed, 25 per cent. ad valorem, is the same rate of duty as was imposed on similar products, such as the concrete block-making machines to which I have referred. The type of concrete mixer made in the Saorstát is confined to that generally used by builders. There is another type of concrete mixer which is used by road-making contractors. It is the intention of the Saorstát firm to manufacture the latter type at a later date. In the meantime, it will be necessary to permit the importation of the other type of mixer free of duty. That is the reason why the licensing provision set out in the fourth column is being inserted.

Are we to understand that, pending the manufacture of this road-making concrete machine, everyone who applies for a licence will get one?

Yes, will get a licence.

There is one point I would like to put to the Minister. I certainly am not opposing the firm referred to getting a measure of protection where they are going to manufacture a suitable article, but in paragraph (b) we have it set out:

"...component parts (other than the engine) of any such apparatus as is mentioned in the foregoing paragraph."

I can quite understand that the Minister does not want to see the duty evaded by bringing in these machines in parts and then assembled here by somebody else; but there is another aspect of the matter that I would like to place before the House. There are numbers of builders who have machines of another type, a somewhat similar type, and who bought them some years ago. The wear and tear on these machines is considerable and the component parts, when they wear out, can really only be got from the manufacturers, who have the patterns and know the exact sizes and types of the machines.

I think there is likely to be rather a hardship caused there and I am calling attention to it because this occurs in connection with other items, not exactly of a similar kind, but the same type of question arises. For instance, when a manufacturer starts in the Saorstát and he sets out to make a particular article, it is rather hard that all the people who have machines, or anything else, of an old or a different type and who have to import parts for them will have to pay a 25 per cent. duty on those parts. I do not suppose that the Minister will suggest that those component parts should be got from the Irish manufacturer, because the designs are exclusive, possibly in some cases they may be patented, and in this case where you are making dutiable small component parts coming in, you are really only adding to the cost of production in this country.

In the circumstances described by the Deputy, that is, where component parts are required for replacement purposes and are not procurable in the Saorstát, I am prepared to recommend the issue of a licence.

Then I am satisfied.

Amendment No. 11 by leave, withdrawn.

For Deputy Mulcahy, I move amendment No. 12:—

To delete reference No. 12 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3, and 4.

This is a new duty which is being imposed at the same rate as applied heretofore to stationery of all kinds. The manufacture of toilet rolls was recently undertaken in the Saorstát. The employment given therein is not very considerable, but it is, nevertheless, worth promoting. The full quantity required to replace imports can be produced and prices are strictly competitive.

It is a perfectly monstrous duty, but I do not propose to raise the subject for discussion in the House. There is absolutely no defence for such a duty.

Amendment No. 12, by leave, withdrawn.

On behalf of Deputy Mulcahy, I move amendment No. 13:—

To delete reference No. 13 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3, and 4.

Reference No. 13 imposes a new duty of 1/6 a gallon on cider and perry. There are about 100,000 gallons of cider and perry imported per annum. The manufacture of cider and perry has been undertaken here and some employment is being given therein, in addition to employment to coopers and carters and incidental employment of that kind. It is estimated that an increase in employment will take place following the imposition of the duty. The cider made here is made from Saorstát grown apples and Saorstát sugar; it is generally 100 per cent. a Saorstát product. On the basis of 100,000 gallons of cider and perry being produced here, it is estimated that some 700 tons of apples will be required and about 900 cwts of sugar. It is understood that there is a plentiful supply of apples around the town of Clonmel, where cider is being manufactured at the present time, and an extension of the industry there will be of considerable advantage to the agricultural community in the vicinity. The price at which Irish cider is being sold compares very favourably indeed with the price of the imported commodity and consequently it has been decided to impose this duty, which is not a prohibitive duty, but which is sufficient to encourage the use of Irish cider.

Are there any exports of Irish cider?

Not at present.

By giving this protection to the manufacturers, I hope the Minister will not lose sight of the apple producers.

The main advantage we see from the development of cider-producing industry is the market for apples which will be created thereby.

Does the Minister say that perry is produced at present in any quantity in the Free State?

Cider and perry are much the same thing.

Indeed they are not; they are very different.

They are produced in the same way.

Perry is produced from a particular kind of pear.

There are no exports of Irish cider?

None at the moment.

Is there any tariff on Irish cider in Great Britain at the present time?

There is a tariff of 4d. a gallon. It was imposed in 1916. The Finance Act of 1916 imposed a tariff of 4d. a gallon on cider and perry. That was taken over when the Free State was established and it still operates both here and in Great Britain.

With regard to protective tariffs on these beverages, we should remember that we are in a very vulnerable position. Our exports of beverages and of liquor infinitely exceed our imports. Any retaliatory measures that might be taken on the other side would mean an immediate prospect of a very grave crisis in this country. The duty on cider and perry will not make much difference anyway, in my opinion. But it may result in the disappearance of the cider trade altogether. People who drink cider look for a particular brand, and those who look for Clonmel cider will continue to drink it. I urge that the Minister should not start any competition in the imposition of duties on beverages, or provoke any retaliation, because he might find himself faced with interests in Great Britain as powerful as the interests in this country; and if these people in Great Britain were to get after his hide, he would have to run for cover very quickly.

I think the Minister ought to note the price paid to the apple producers, as mentioned by Deputy Minch.

The apple producer will not be in the position that he will have only the cider manufacturer to purchase his apples. He will have alternative markets. There is the element of competition with the confectionery and jam manufacturers in the Free State.

I would like to mention to the Minister that less than a farthing per apple was offered for highly graded apples in South Kildare recently.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 14:

To delete reference No. 14 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3, and 4.

This reference imposes a duty on a specific list of articles made wholly or mainly of non-galvanised sheet metal, or of non-galvanised tubular metal, or of a combination of non-galvanised sheet metal and non-galvanised tubular metal and their components. There are a number of manufacturers in the Saorstát engaged in the production of tubular metal furniture. The imports of iron and steel, not liable to duty, in 1933 amounted to £11,700. They increased in 1934 to £13,400, and they again increased in 1935 to £15,900. The manufacture of this type of goods gives a considerable amount of employment, and the existing Saorstát manufacturers are capable of meeting all the estimated demands. Both in quality and in price, I think it can be said that the home-manufactured articles compare very favourably with the imported articles.

There is, nevertheless, a need for protection because there would appear to me to be a marked tendency on the part of institutions, in which this class of furniture is used, to favour the imported article. In any event the utilisation of this class of furniture is becoming more general, and it is desirable that its production should be encouraged here at home. We have from Saorstát manufacturers an undertaking as to the regulation of their prices, which, I think, is quite satisfactory, and which, at the same time, enables the position of the industry to be kept under review. The duty imposed is 50 per cent. ad valorem, which is the same duty that applies to furniture of other descriptions.

I would like to refer to the list of surgical articles mentioned here, including sterilising cases, and sterilising drums. I take it that surgical apparatus, such as surgical walking frames, and so on, are things prescribed in the practice of orthopaedic surgery. The Minister is, no doubt, aware that in Great Britain alone there would be 30 or 40 manufacturers of these articles. Many surgeons would prefer to obtain their supplies of these articles from England, others from New York, but all from some well-known makers who specialise in these things. Now before we put a 50 per cent. duty on orthopaedic appliances, we ought to ask ourselves whether the inconvenience and expense does not outweigh altogether any possibility of advantage accruing.

If any man sets up in Ireland to manufacture articles of this kind which are as good or better than those procurable in London, or Berlin or New York, not only will Irish orthopaedic surgeons patronise him, but he will receive patronage from all over the world. If they are not as good as they should be in the eyes of the surgeon, no tariff will protect him. Surgeons will be concerned to see that their patients get the very best class of appliance no matter at what cost. I suggest that on no pretext should the Minister attempt to interfere by way of any restrictive duty put upon articles used in orthopaedic surgery. Articles of this nature should certainly be exempt.

Manufacturers here are making these appliances and they are making them as satisfactorily as any manufacturer elsewhere. In any case we have a licensing provision, not because it would be necessary but because articles of a peculiar design may be sought for. In ordinary circumstances that power would not be utilised as the full variety of design can, we think, be made available by Irish Free State manufacturers.

Will the Minister deliberately consult the College of Surgeons or such other advisory body as may be sought for. In ordinary circumstances that power would not be utilised as the full variety of design can, we think, be made available by Irish Free State manufacturers.

Is there any representation founded on expert knowledge that could be made to the Minister that would induce him to reconsider this matter?

The consideration is whether these goods can be made satisfactorily here, and I am not prepared to take the decision of the College of Surgeons or the College of Science on that matter.

This is what astonishes me. The Minister will not take the opinion of the College of Science or the College of Surgeons in regard to these implements for orthopaedic surgery. I do not know whether the Minister knows the meaning of the word orthopaedic. I ask him will he consult experts and he says "No." That is what irritates me. The monetary difference here may not mean a £10 note, but there may be all the difference between comfort and misery involved. Some people have to wear surgical walking frames. They may be used in connection with diseases of the spine or with hip disease. I understand implements of this kind are used in cases of fracture. I do not know, I am not an expert, and I am not asking the Minister to take my opinion; but let him see, at all events, that surgeons get the most efficient implements in the discharge of their duties.

The poor who go to the free hospital will have to be content with appliances which the local authority will consent to purchase and these will be largely got under recommendations from Government Departments. The Government Departments will refuse to pay a tariff and the poor will have to do with whatever is provided.

To any person who ever wore an appliance of that kind or observed persons wearing them, the difference between something properly made for the particular case and the thing that is of a standardised pattern and approximately fits is the difference between comfort and recurrent and perpetual misery. It means the difference between a reasonably happy life and a life of absolutely unendurable misery. I put it to the Minister that he should not take my word for it or anybody else's, but should ask for expert opinion from the College of Physicians or the College of Surgeons or from any body of surgeons he pleases to call together, and I am satisfied he will get a fair opinion from any such body.

If it can be shown that the classes of goods described here cannot be produced satisfactorily here under any circumstances, then the free importation of them will be permitted.

That is the difficulty. The Minister thinks it is easy to get a licence.

I think the Deputy should at least assume that Irish manufacturers are fairly competent.

There is no use starting a silly hare like that. This is a technical business.

It is done well here.

It is a business depending almost exclusively on craftsmen. I do not compare the skill of Berlin with the skill of London. I say that there are appliances made in Berlin of this kind which you cannot get in London and appliances made in New York which you cannot get in Berlin. It is a question of individual craftsmen being able to produce them. The Minister thinks it is easy to get a licence from his Department to import. It is not. It is a very complicated and tedious operation to get a licence if you have not got the machinery established in your place of business for getting it. It may be easy for a merchant who is getting them every week and knows how to go about it, but for an individual to get a licence of that character it may take days or weeks. It involves delay, in any event, in clearing the thing out of the Customs. If it is going to do no good and going to serve no useful purpose, why must you put blisters of this kind on sections of the community who are already suffering? That is the kind of bureaucratic outrage that irritates me beyond words. The sufferings of an individual count for nothing in front of the bureaucratic machine. It is the sufferings of these individuals that make all the difference between a tolerable life and the intolerable servitude that bureaucracy tries to thrust upon the people.

I want to support the case made by Deputy Dillon. These surgical appliances may, in some instances, be better than others. No matter how well they may be produced here, it may be that just some little neatness, some particular patent, or some particular padding would make, as Deputy Dillon points out, all the difference between comfort and some pain. The Minister said that Irish manufacturers can produce them as well as anybody else. That is admitted. There are good eye specialists in Ireland as well as in other places in Europe, but that does not count. The person who is suffering is entitled to obtain whatever method there is of easing the pain or even what he might consider would ease the pain. In connection with these surgical appliances in particular, I think the Minister should not put people to the trouble of applying for a licence and waiting for two or three weeks, or even three months, and then getting a letter saying "I am informed that eminently suitable appliances of this character are manufactured in the Saorstát." I hold that neither the Minister nor anybody in his Department is an authority on that and that the medical profession or the surgical profession should be the judges in the matter. I ask the Minister not to insist on this, but to adopt the suggestion of Deputy Dillon and have a consultation with some members of the College of Surgeons who would know all about these things. I have seen people suffering with these walking frames and such things. Some of them are very crude; on the other hand, some of them are very neat and the pain is very slight. I have seen, and I am sure the Minister has seen, very crude appliances upon children of the poor in Dublin. But you will see very neat and well-fitting appliances on the children of the well-to-do. The children of the poor should be able to have as good appliances as the others.

The appliances are made here as satisfactorily as anywhere.

Because you think that.

I know it.

I have as much experience on the matter as the Minister, and I would not say that I am an authority on it. I know that there are articles of that type that could be better and there should not be anything done to prevent a person getting the best if the person wants to get it.

The Irish manufactured article is quite satisfactory.

Question put: "That the reference and relevant sub-references stand."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 52; Níl, 33.

  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Broderick, William Josoph.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lavery, Cecil.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Reilly, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Nally.
Question declared carried.

I move amendment No. 15:—

To delete reference No. 15 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

While we have not got any satisfactory information from the Minister for Industry and Commerce on any of the tariffs which have been proposed to us up to the present, I think that before he puts a tariff of 50 per cent. on artificial flies for fishing, and fishing hooks with gut attached, he ought to give some indication as to what is the object of this tariff.

I should certainly have done so if the Deputy had allowed me to speak first. The object of the tariff is to secure that those fishing flies and hooks will be manufactured in the Saorstát. There is a number of firms engaged in the industry already, mainly in Cork, but to some extent also in Dublin. The value of the imports of those goods, which have been subject to a 15 per cent. tariff since 1932, amounts to approximately £6,000. Perhaps it is not correct to say that the value of those goods imported is £6,000; the value of the fishing tackle imported is about £6,000, but it is not possible to differentiate between the imports of those goods and other classes of fishing tackle.

What does the Minister include as fishing tackle?

Fishing tackle of all kinds.

Rods and lines?

Yes. It is not an important industry. There are about 20 people employed in it at the present time. That employment can be increased. I think most anglers will agree that Irish flies and hooks are quite satisfactory, and that there is no reason why there should be any importation. We have inserted a licensing provision so as to ensure that there will be no temporary difficulty about getting supplies while production is being increased, but I think it is probable that the existing firms are quite capable of supplying all the requirements of the country or the requirements of visitors to this country.

Why was not the 15 per cent. tariff enough?

I am not in a position to answer that except just by saying that it was not enough. That tariff did, undoubtedly, encourage production here and led to a certain increase in production, but it was not sufficient to stop importation, and it is desired to increase the tariff because we think that, in relation to these articles, there should be no importation.

Then, this is absolutely a prohibitive tariff?

Well, I hope so.

Is there a tariff already?

There was a tariff of 15 per cent. full rate, and 10 per cent. preferential rate, on all sporting appliances. It was mainly a revenue tariff, and was imposed in 1932.

And that included a tariff on unmounted flies?

I am sure that the Minister is aware that there is a very wide variety of artificial flies, particularly for trout-fishing, and unless there is a big order for artificial flies for the next general election to catch some votes, I cannot see what use this tariff will be. First of all, you find in connection with this amendment here that the wealthier type of fisherman escapes because the power of the Revenue Commissioners is curtailed by the question of value. For instance, it says here in the Schedule: "Artificial flies suitable, in the opinion of the Revenue Commissioners, for use in fishing and of a value not exceeding 20/- per gross"—I hope I am not reading it wrongly. Well, throughout the country there are many country people of the artisan class to-day who find not only healthy amusement, but who can, in a sense, augment their incomes where free trout-fishing is available, and these people undoubtedly will find great difficulty in getting the particular type of fly they use.

The Minister says that there will be no increase in the price, and I hope he is right, but even if there is no increase in price, these people will still be faced with the difficulty to which I have referred, because, at the present time, according to the fly libraries, the scope and variety of artificial flies is so wide that even the most subtle trout can be tempted by a particular fly. I have no experience, of course, of the manufacture of these things here, but it seems to me that the manufacturers will need at least to keep up with the varieties in the present-day fly libraries if the fishermen are going to get a fair chance. My belief is that there will be, undoubtedly, a lot of unnecessary delay and inconvenience. I do not know who advises the Revenue Commissioners as to what is a suitable fly. I suppose it is dealt with by officials, but undoubtedly there will be trouble and inconvenience.

One of the objections to this duty, or in fact any duty, on fishing flies is that, if you want to bring in some flies, say, from Great Britain, you must get them in by parcel post, because you cannot use the letter post in connection with articles that are dutiable. That, in itself, will be an inconvenience. I observe that salmon flies are excluded because they usually cost more than 20/- per gross. Frankly, I thought it was 20/- a dozen until I looked at it more closely. Is it proposed in this Schedule to charge 50 per cent. duty on trout flies which cost 1/8 a dozen and 15 per cent. on flies which cost more than 1/8 per dozen? If that is the case, I do not think this tariff will have any effect at all. Most of the artificial trout flies imported would cost more than 1/8 a dozen, and surely the administrative difficulty of handling a tariff which imposes 50 per cent. on trout flies which cost less than 1/8 a dozen, and 15 per cent. on trout flies costing more than 1/8 a dozen, is going to be very great. It is going to be absolutely impossible to administer it because it is obviously cheaper to charge 1/9 a dozen for the trout flies, and thus get the advantage of the 15 per cent. rate, than to charge 1/8 and be subject to the 50 per cent. rate. Has that aspect of the matter presented itself to the Minister's mind?

Does not the Minister think, then, that when he was intervening in connection with this item he might have said a word or two on that particular subject, because it is difficult for us to discuss the matter intelligently when we do not know what is in the Minister's mind?

I am quite satisfied that we will be able to administer that duty.

What is the point of putting 50 per cent. on flies under 1/8 a dozen and 15 per cent. on flies at 1/9?

On importation.

But what is the point of it?

This duty does not impose any additional charge on flies costing over 1/8 a dozen.

But that is the point.

Yes, that is the point. What is the justification for this?

To encourage the manufacture of these articles here.

Well, supposing the people invoiced the flies at 1/9 and, in fact, charge 1/9, is not that going to let them in?

Yes, certainly.

Well, then the tariff is a farce.

I do not think so.

I would strongly urge the Minister to address his mind to this problem. Trout flies, normally, will cost between 1/- and 1/8. Let us suppose that the average price is 1/6. That plus 50 per cent. is 2/3, but 1/9 plus 15 per cent. is only 2/-, and therefore it is better from the importer's point of view to pay 1/9 to the British fly manufacturer, and thereby be subject to only 15 per cent., than to pay 1/6 and be subject to the 50 per cent. It would be cheaper to pay the British manufacturer 1/9 for flies than it would be to pay 1/6; so that the net result of the tariff will be that people here will pay the British manufacturers so much more for their flies than they paid previously. That is the only effect it will have, and surely that is little short of imbecile. I put it to the Minister that a sensible gesture in this matter would be to provide that all artificial flies would be free of duty, because no revenue will be derived, and no increase in production will be available to the makers of flies in this country since a man who is in the habit of fishing with a certain type of fly will get it no matter where it is produced, unless the Minister were to put on a tariff of 5/- per fly or something of that kind. I strongly urge the Minister not to legislate a tariff which, on the face of it, is ineffective and absurd.

I should like to ask the Minister how does he propose to deal with the question of flies brought in by tourists for fishing? It seems to me that the Minister might very easily find that the cure was worse than the disease, because if we get a name here for annoying tourists about a whole lot of things, such as the value of the flies they have about their persons, and so on, the Minister might very easily find that this, instead of being a revenue-producing tariff, was quite the opposite.

In accordance with the usual procedure tourists will be allowed to bring in reasonable quantities of these articles just as, at the present time, they are allowed to bring in reasonable quantities of other dutiable goods.

Yes, but what is a reasonable quantity? That requires to be very broadly circulated.

How does the Minister propose to meet the point I raised about the 1/6 for flies, plus 50 per cent., as compared with the 1/9 plus 15 per cent.?

In every case where there is a limit of value beyond which or below which the duty does not apply, there is always the possibility that goods that are in or about the border line will be invoiced incorrectly and so escape the duty. In so far, however, as it is not desired to apply this duty to articles valued on importation at more than 20/- a gross, that limitation has been imposed. If the Deputy urges that this should be applied to all flies, I shall consider it, but I do not think it is necessary to do that, particularly as the firms think that this will give them the protection they require.

Did the Minister say "the firm"?

No. I said "firms".

I understood the Minister to say "firm".

I have already explained to the House that there are several firms, some in Dublin and some in Cork, and so on, but mostly in Cork.

Can the Minister say if Customs officers at ports of landing would have discretion under the regulations to exempt certain people, or would it be necessary for tourists to apply for all these exemption orders beforehand?

No; the Customs officers will have general discretion, just as they have in the case of passengers who have a package of cigarettes or a pair of boots.

Where outside of Bedlam would anyone talk of the manufacture of trout-flies on a mass production basis? How could you have mass production of trout flies?

If I said mass production, I meant on a large scale.

The only way is to take each one between your fingers and tie it. Whether you use a sea-gull's wing or a game-cock's wing the operation is precisely the same.

Ask Deputy Anthony to give an exhibition.

Mr. Dillon rose.

The Deputy has already spoken on the amendment.

I should like to put this question to the Minister: What does he mean by producing trout-flies on mass production lines?

Does the Minister consider that this imposition of a tariff of 50 per cent. will create any new industry or any great demand for Irish tied flies? He must be aware that most Irish anglers buy their flies locally, and that a number of them make these flies. As a matter of fact I engaged in that little pastime for a number of years. A number of visiting tourists and sportsmen come here for the fishing in the Irish lakes and rivers, and many of them will bring their own salmon flies, which are more expensive than the ordinary trout-fly. It would be difficult to expect revenue officials to assess the value of these flies.

There will be no question of assessing the value of flies brought in by tourists.

Then that gets rid of the question raised by Deputy Dillon. Let us come to a question which concerns anglers in this country. Anglers here very rarely procure salmon or trout flies made outside the country. There are some very eminent firms across the Channel, who make a particular class of flies, particularly salmon flies, which are very expensive. Irish firms also make these flies, but it has been my experience over a long number of years, that salmon and trout-flies are always bought locally. There is a certain tradition about tying flies in certain areas. I regard this tax as really provocative and I do not think it is going to do any good for people who the flies. A couple of years ago I was invited by people in the industry, some of whom reside in Dublin, to discuss this matter and after a long conversation they were satisfied eventually that if a duty was imposed on imported flies it would not be of much benefit. I pointed out to them that the trade in imported flies was almost negligible, for the reason that flies were tied here in certain areas by people who had a tradition for that work as well as local knowledge. I also want to know why fishing hooks with gut attached are included in this duty. These are used by people who fish for trout or salmon with bait. In fishing for salmon powerful hooks are used but the modern method is to use a steel wire instead of gut. Ordinary fishing hooks with gut attached are usually sold for something like 1/- a dozen, and the better class for 1/6 a dozen. These are usually used by bait anglers, most of whom are working-class people, who cannot afford to spend much money on fishing tackle. There is a fair demand for fishing hooks with gut attached, but the demand does not warrant a tax of 50 per cent. The Minister must be aware that we do not manufacture fishing hooks here, and that the gut comes here in hanks because we do not make it. I feel that it is unwise to tax these items and I do not see that any good purpose will be served by the Minister pressing this proposal. I ask him to reconsider that portion of the Schedule for the reasons I mentioned, that there is not a huge demand for these articles, and that the tax on fishing hooks and gut would not yield any revenue worth talking of, while it might be provocative. Notwithstanding the assurance the Minister gave, it might be the means of warning off anglers from coming to this country. I think the amount secured from the tariff and the amount of labour given would be infinitesimal. The Minister must know that two or three experts could in an ordinary eight-hour day tie as many flies as would satisfy the requirements of the biggest establishment. I believe the yield from this duty would be very small, and the trouble involved very great. Notwithstanding his assurance some visiting tourists might be alarmed if they were told there was a tariff on flies. Therefore, I urge him to reconsider it.

I note the points raised by the Deputy, and I can assure him that firms here are satisfied that there is an appreciable importation of these goods, which could be made here satisfactorily.

I would like to have a talk with some of these people. I do not want to decry native workmen or native manufacturers, but we do not manufacture gut or hooks, and, as far as flies are concerned, certain flies tied by firms across the Channel have a world-wide reputation. I do not suggest that we have not a reputation for flies tied here. It is not a case of competition, but the leaning a man may have to get goods from certain firms. I do not want to advertise any firms with a world-wide reputation for the strength of their gut, the length of their cast, or the material they put into their flies, but I could mention several flies that are commonly used on Irish lakes. The Minister must be aware that some of the material for these flies is very difficult to get. It may be true that some of the firms enjoy what I might call a monopoly of feathers, and that resort is had to dyeing these feathers, but there is not doubt that some of the firms have a world-wide reputation for the quality of their goods. As one who has had considerable experience, I find, without mentioning the name of any firm, that I have had a number of flies for a second season without their colours fading, because of their natural feather. I would ask the Minister to reconsider this matter, and to have a further interview with the gentleman who instructed him that this tax was necessary.

Would the Minister go for a day's fishing with Deputy Anthony?

Do I understand the Minister to say that this tax was intended to be prohibitive, that its purpose was to help home industry?

That is the intention.

As far as I know, there are really very few flies imported. Most of the flies are tied locally. There are very few imported, but does the Minister think that if a fisherman is keen on a particular type of fly, a tariff of 50 per cent. will keep him from getting it?

Certainly not, and you will be in the same position as far as he is concerned. He will have to pay that 50 per cent. on the price which he formerly paid. The House will notice that the Minister has not given the slightest indication of the quantity or the value of the importations.

Because I do not know.

He has given not the slightest indication of any kind. He does not know the amount imported, or the value of the importations. Yet he imposes a 50 per cent. tariff. This is reducing the whole thing to ridicule.

Question—"That reference No. 15 stand"—put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 45; Níl, 30.

  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Davin, William.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies P. S. Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.

I move amendment No. 16:

To delete reference No. 16 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

The purpose of putting down the amendment is to get some information as to what is the necessity for this 50 per cent. tariff.

This Resolution proposes a duty of 50 per cent. ad valorem on parchment (including vellum) having matter printed thereon and imported in bulk quantities. There is at present a Customs duty of 50 per cent. ad valorem on printed paper matter produced by the use of movable type. That duty does not apply to the type of document with which this Resolution deals. Our large printing establishments here print on parchment, and in addition, I understand, a firm at Naas has installed special machinery for the printing of legal documents. Though these facilities exist here, it is, nevertheless, a fact that there are a large number of people who use a considerable quantity of legal stationery of the type covered by this Resolution and are in the habit of sending their printing work outside the country. It is not possible for us to get any precise information as to the value of the trade, but the Minister for Industry and Commerce considers that the duty applicable to matter printed on paper should be extended to matter printed on parchment.

The Minister is asking us to put a 50 per cent. tariff on a matter that he does not know anything about. He can give us no information about it.

I have at least given the information the Deputy asked for— our reasons for imposing the tariff.

That stuff is coming in here, but the Minister does not know how much. Can the Minister give any information with regard to this 50 per cent. tariff?

It is considered that a 50 per cent. tariff of this sort is necessary in order to ensure that these legal documents will be printed here.

Will the Minister give us the facts on which he bases this 50 per cent. necessity?

Can the Minister tell us what is the quantity of such documents coming in, and can he say if any are being prepared here? He mentioned that a firm at Naas had installed special machinery. Is he able to give us any information about this tariff at all? In connection with the previous Resolutions, we were at least able to get some information. In connection with the last one the information that was supplied to us by the Minister for Industry and Commerce was, I admit, rather meagre, but that I agree was rather an exceptional proceeding on his part. Can the Minister give us any idea of the amount of employment that is likely to be given in connection with this tariff or the value of the goods that are at present being imported? Has the Minister any figures available to give us information on this? The Minister for Industry and Commerce, if he had not a lot of information to give us on some of the previous Resolutions, at least gave us all he had. We have now this stupid attitude of the Minister refusing to say anything, adopting a line of absolute dumbness so far as the House is concerned. I admit that it is in keeping with the whole policy of the Government and with their ideas as to how Parliament should be run.

This is a revenue tariff.

I must ask you, Sir, to protect me from the studied insults of Deputy John Marcus O'Sullivan. As I have already informed the House, I have no precise information on this matter. I do not know whether it is due to stupidity or imbecility, but the Deputy does not appear to be able to hear.

I say that we got no information of the kind that we want, and the Minister knows it. However, I do not intend to speak again.

Question put: "That reference No. 16 stand."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 46; Níl, 27.

  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá, Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.

I move amendment No. 17:—

To delete reference No. 17 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

I move this amendment for the purpose of giving the Minister an opportunity of telling us what the ad valorem equivalent of this duty is, whether it is a revenue tariff and, if it is not, what it is intended to do in the way of increasing industrial production.

This is a protective tariff. It imposes a duty of 6d. per square yard on certain classes of sheets or slabs made wholly or mainly of fibre as described here in the Resolution. If the Deputy will turn over the page, he will see that they are described as those which have not been varnished, painted or polished before importation and are designed, constructed and suitable for use in building. Compositions made of plaster of Paris imported in sheets or slabs are liable to duty under the Finance (Customs Duties) (No. 4) Act, 1932, at the rate of 9d., with a preferential rate of 6d., per square yard. This duty was imposed to encourage the manufacture of these articles in the Saorstát and all the requirements are now supplied from home sources and a substantial amount of employment is afforded in their manufacture. Recently, a new industry for the manufacture of plaster board, a special type of plaster slab, has been established in Dublin. Plaster used in the manufacture of this plaster board is not produced in the Saorstát. Slabs of the description referred to in this Resolution can be substituted for plaster of paris slabs and the purpose of the Resolution is to encourage the use of the home manufactured article.

Can the Minister give any idea of what it means in increased employment or increased cost?

I do not think the Minister has stated all the facts in connection with this. He is quite right in saying that there is a native industry for plaster slabs, and these, in certain measure, compete with these products, but I think there is a good deal more to be said about it. The plaster slabs made in this country are produced at a reasonable price and the material in them is excellent, but these slabs which are imported—I suppose you would really call them emulsified wood fibre—are used where speed is an essential or where a house has to be dried more quickly than would be the case by leaving it to dry by air. There is much less water used in the process of manufacture of these slabs and certain builders find it necessary to use this material. I think this duty of 6d. a yard would work out somewhere about 40 per cent., but it is quite absurd for the Minister to suggest that they are in competition with the plaster slabs in that they are two entirely alternative processes of manufacture.

For some years, there was a difficulty in getting plastering work completed and these sheets were put in by carpenters and gave considerable employment to labourers, a class of labour very much in need of employment at present. I do not mean that they put them up, but they had the handling of them the whole way along. These sheets are afterwards skimmed by a plasterer, and I suggest that if you take the labour content of the two processes, you will find that the fibre slab has slightly more labour in it than the local plaster slabs. I suggest that the Minister has completely overlooked the case in which a job has to be done in a hurry or in which a building has to be dry in a certain period, and that, instead of this being a protective duty, it is really a revenue producing tariff, because these goods will have to be used for certain work. In that way, the Minister is only increasing the cost of certain types of building and I ask him to reconsider this.

Might I point out again that we are in the difficult position of being asked to vote a tariff without any information even attempted on the matters which we consider vital. Any information we have got has been got mainly from Deputy Dockrell, and not from the Minister, who at the moment is deputising for the Minister for Industry and Commerce. It is an extraordinary conception of Ministerial duty to the House. I think it would have been much more satisfactory if there had been an adjournment when the Minister for Industry and Commerce had to withdraw, and some other business taken on, so that we would have a Minister who would at least make an attempt to deal with the important questions raised in all these tariff matters. We got no information, although it was explicitly asked for, on the question as to what was the ad valorem equivalent of the particular duty proposed here, or whether it was possible to calculate it. We got no information as to the amount of goods now imported which are expected to be kept out. We got no information on which we might be able to base any conclusion as to the increased cost of these articles to the public, especially in connection with building, and we got not the slightest information as to whether there will be any additional employment, the type of employment, or even an estimate of the expected increase in employment that is supposed to follow the imposition of the tariff.

It was not easy to hear the Minister when he was reading out the information he pretended to supply to the House, but there was a portion in which, so far as I could follow it, he pointed out that, in the Finance Act of 1932, a duty was put on plaster of Paris constructions and that that had been successful. The next statement I heard was that there was a new industry started and it was intended to help that industry, so that these new slabs could be substituted for the plaster of Paris. I do not know if I heard the Minister aright in that matter?

I am afraid not.

I am afraid not, too.

The Deputy became deaf in the middle of the statement.

The Minister's voice did not reach this side of the House. I could not possibly follow what he was saying, but I distinctly heard the words "substituted for plaster of Paris slabs." Is it to be in competition merely with the imported plaster of Paris or is it to be in competition with the articles made from plaster of Paris in the industry established in 1932? As I say, it was difficult to follow such information as was given, and we are left without any information on the essential points so far as this tariff is concerned.

Question put: "That reference No. 17 in Financial Resolution No. 4 stand."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 46; Níl, 22.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.

I beg to move amendment No. 18:—

To delete reference No. 18 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

Reference No. 18 in the schedule proposes to change the rate of duty on safety razor blades and unsharpened blanks for safety razor blades from 15 per cent. with a preference duty of 10 per cent. imposed under the Finance Act of 1932, the effective rate of duty under that Act being more 10 per cent. than 15 per cent. The reference in the Schedule now proposes to raise that duty to 75 per cent. after, say, four years of operation of the industry in the country under the 10 and 15 per cent. tariffs. I would like to hear from the Minister what is the position with regard to the industry, how many people are employed in it and what has happened that necessitates the raising of the duty on these razor blades from 10 or 15 to 75 per cent.

It might be no harm to consider reference No. 19 at the same time, because the two duties more or less hang together. The existing duty of 5/- per gross on safety razor blades was imposed when a concern at Enniscorthy in Wexford commenced the manufacture of these blades by what I may describe as hand-work methods. In the process of their manufacture they employed from 70 to 80 people, but they touched only a comparatively small part of the total market available for these goods. Subsequently another concern started at Carlow to manufacture blades by automatic machine methods. Ordinarily I would not be disposed to oppose the introduction of mechanical methods of production in any industry, but in this particular case there appeared to be no advantage to be secured by doing so, and in fact there would be obvious disadvantages in respect of employment. The blades produced by the automatic process were not sold any cheaper than the blades produced by the hand-work process but the employment given was very small in comparison with the employment that was being given in the hand-work process and that might be given if the blades produced at Carlow were also produced by the same method.

That situation persisted for some time. It was, however, noted at the end of last year that the total production of both factories was by no means equal to the requirements of the country and, despite the duty, which was not a very high duty, the importation of razor blades was still very considerable, amounting last year to the sum of £35,000 in value. I was, however, somewhat reluctant to consider the increase of the duty because the raising of the duty might, I felt, result in the further development of the automatic process of production here with consequent loss of employment despite an increase in the total output. Subsequently, I felt it was desirable that we should get to the stage when we would be supplying our own requirements in these goods and, after some discussion with each of the firms concerned, an arrangement was made under which the output of the automatic process was, by agreement, limited to a certain quantity of blades, and the question of extending production by each concern was further considered and to ensure that that would take place it was decided to increase the duty.

The duty is being increased from 5/- to 12/- per gross. It is also being extended to cover the blanks referred to in reference No. 18. These were subject to duty heretofore, but were admitted free under licence. Now, the manufacture of these blanks is being undertaken from the steel strip which is defined in reference No. 19. We are putting a duty on that steel strip in order to discourage the further extension of the industry by the automatic process to which I have referred. The steel strip will be admitted free of duty to the concerns engaged in the industry and to any other concern which engages in the industry in the same way, that is, by adopting the method of working which gives a comparatively considerable amount of employment as against the automatic process. There is, I think, no question as to the quality of the blades produced here. They are quite satisfactory and the prices are equally satisfactory. They are, in fact, quite low, and one of the concerns has already been successful in securing orders for export, and in fact certain quantities of razor blades produced here have been exported during the last year.

May I ask which firm exported them?

The Enniscorthy firm. The imported blades are all sold at a higher price than the blades produced here, which are retailed, I understand, at 1d. or 2d. per blade. The position that will result after the enactment of this Resolution is that the safety razor blades will be manufactured in Enniscorthy and Carlow—at Carlow partly by the automatic and partly by the hand-work process—and we trust that the production of these two firms, or any other firm that may engage in the industry, will equal the full requirements of the country, and thus eliminate the item of £35,000 which still remains on our import list. The manufacture of the blanks, which has already been done at Carlow and has been undertaken at Enniscorthy also, will have to be undertaken by any other firm that comes into the business. There will be a duty on the steel strip which, however, will be admitted free of that duty under licence to the two firms I have mentioned, or to any other concern that engages in this business by the hand-work method. By that system we hope to promote the maximum amount of employment, to get the full requirements of the country produced, and have these requirements met at prices which are as satisfactory as the existing prices charged by these firms.

Are they making a blade that can be retailed at a penny?

They are.

I do not quite follow one particular matter. As regards an untempered steel strip which is suitable for use in the manufacture of razors, I presume the people who will make razors out of it are the razor-manufacturing firms?

Suitable for the manufacture of safety razor blades—not razors.

I am referring really to safety razor blades. Only the two business firms in question will want this untempered steel strip?

No. There is nothing to stop any additional firm coming into the business.

But it is only those firms that are in the business will get it. Who else will want to import it except the people engaged in the manufacture of razor blades? Nobody else will.

Probably not.

And they are going to get it free?

Yes. Of course the steel strip is not manufactured in the country.

I know, but you are putting an import duty on it, and you are going to allow it in free to the people who import it.

It is probable that the duty will be completely inoperative. It is there as a deterrent to new firms starting to manufacture razor blades by the process to which I referred.

I am afraid that did not come out in the Minister's statement. I understood it would be given to any firm operating or any other firm that might set out to operate.

Working on a hand-made process.

I did not understand that. The purpose is with the object of controlling two things, namely, to prevent a firm setting up any new process of manufacture by an automatic process, and to see that the Carlow firm keeps to its agreement. I think this is the first time that we heard of this particular principle of preventing modern methods of production introduced by the Department. It is the first intimation that we have had from the Government Benches of this departure on their part. It is an entirely new principle, and is against the general policy of the Government. The Minister will admit that he started off by admitting that.

It means that you want to have less boundaries set up against lesser firms. What applies here applies in 90 per cent. of the cases where you have a big firm set up against others with less effective machinery. In every case, you probably would have more labour given by the older method. The Minister, up to the present, has not attempted to state what he is doing here. I suggest that this policy requires a remodelling of the Government's whole tariff policy, unless the Minister can show some particular reason in this case for objecting to the use of modern methods. I do not say it is not a good policy, but it is, undoubtedly, in conflict with what has been done up to the present. Modern methods do lead, all over the world, generally speaking, to smaller employment. You have fewer people employed as a result of the introduction of modern machinery, but this is the only occasion that I can recall, where this principle was laid down by the Minister. In none of these operations up to the present has he been guided by this headline of policy, and it does seem to me to require an altering of his whole policy in this regard. Another point is he told us that the greater firms employ fewer workers per unit of output.

Substantially.

I do not mean one or two less but considerably less. It seems to me to follow as an implication from the Minister's statement that it ought to produce a cheaper article, but I gathered from the Minister's statement that they were producing at the same price.

I did not say they should produce a cheaper article. In fact, it did not appear that they could. In other words, wages saved by the employment of machines were apparently offset by additional charges that had to be met on the increased capital.

An inefficiency of business methods.

The market up to the present is too small, but they could produce, I presume cheaper articles if the market were considerably increased.

I do not think so.

That seems to be quite in conflict with modern technology.

It seems, I admit, to be in contradiction.

The Minister acknowledges this contradiction out of which he cannot get. Undoubtedly, if there is any lesson to be drawn from development in other branches where there is sufficient output—and that is the meaning of the tariffs—the result should be that there would be a much higher output in that particular type of factory and, consequently, a cheaper production of the article. But we have the extraordinary spectacle here of a firm setting up with a small market and obviously not able to produce under modern conditions—I mean economically produce under modern conditions—because, if so, they should be able to produce a much cheaper article with modern machinery. They were not able to do that, because the market is too small; and they are being run out of the market.

No. Because the market is not supplied; some 47,000 gross of razor blades have to be imported.

Is not that the point? Now the Minister proposes to put the market at their disposal. Take these two firms.

The firm itself does not claim even if their machinery was working to its fullest capacity, that they could sell their products any lower than they were sold by the firm working under the other process.

I am not here to defend their contention that they are a very poor firm.

The imported blades are not sold any cheaper apart from the duty.

Now they cost the consumer 4d., and they are going to cost them 6d.

The imported blades? The increase is from 10 to 75 per cent. Therefore, I put it as low as possible. If it were 75 per cent. the price would be 7d. I am allowing for a lot of things—possibly the price will be 6d. Again the Minister assumes that the home blades will not go up to that price. Even though they are not working commercially satisfactorily, a greater factory, working with modern machinery, does not seem to fulfil modern requirements. If the Minister examines this particular case in all its bearings, I think he will find it throws considerable light upon his whole tariff policy, and that is the reason why I ask for very much greater consideration from that point of view in this connection.

I intervene only to say that it would not be agreed by everybody that automatic production is the best; it would be disputed. We jump to the conclusion that mechanically-produced articles must be the most efficient. The people interested in the Enniscorthy firm would not agree with that. They claim to produce a better blade, at a lower price, by hand-made methods.

Here you have two firms. Why give the whole monopoly to them by a prohibitive tariff?

We are not doing so.

Then I must have misunderstood the Minister. He said that as long as these two firms were in existence they must divide the market between them.

I said we would issue licence for steel strips to any firm that came to manufacture by the hand-work process.

That is not the part of the Minister's case to which I am referring. I understood him to state distinctly—perhaps I am wrong— that these two firms had come to an agreement between themselves as to what proportion of the market they were going to get. As I not correct in saying that the Minister said that?

I cannot give the exact details because it is expressed in rather technical language, but it amounts, I think, to this, that the machinery installed for the automatic production of these blades at Carlow will be utilised to its capacity, but that production over and above the capacity of these machines will be by the other process.

As the result of agreement between these two firms?

That is precisely the point I am making. A market is secured for a certain type of manufacture in this country and two firms are allowed to divide that market between them. There is no element of competition.

There is. In fact, there is no limitation of the total output.

For instance, if I can only produce 30 per cent of this market and you produce 70 per cent., that is the abolition of the element of competition.

The agreement to which I referred relates only to the penny blade. It does not relate to any blade of a quality superior to that.

The tariff relates to all blades.

The agreement is there, and the Government are to a certain extent a party to it, the two firms eliminating competition between them. You give the firms complete control of the market and allow them to divide that market between them, and you speak of competition, and expect them not to reach the full tariff level.

The blades will be sold at a penny each anyhow and we never had them sold at less.

Question put: "That reference No. 18 stand."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 52; Níl, 29.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Seáamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lavery, Cecil.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.

I move amendment No. 19:

To delete reference No. 19 and all relevant references thereto in columns, 2, 3 and 4.

The Minister gave us a certain amount of very extraordinary and interesting information on amendment No. 18. He told us that the purpose of putting 10/- per lb. on untempered steel strip imported for the purpose of manufacturing safety razor blades was to prevent the manufacture of safety razor blades by automatic method beyond the quantity that can be manufactured by the automatic machinery that existed in the country at the present time. We have just had the members of the Labour Party voting for a tariff of 75 per cent. on safety razor blades. The circumstances are that for the last four years there has been a tariff of 15 per cent. with a preference rate of 10 per cent. on those blades, and a factory has existed and given employment at Enniscorthy and at Carlow. Even if the Enniscorthy factory were competed against by the factory at Carlow manufacturing by automatic processes, the factory as far as we can hear from the Minister for Industry and Commerce has not suffered in any way in its employment or in its output. The factory at Carlow was able to charge prices for its automatically-produced blades that were as high as the prices charged by the factory producing by hand production methods. The users of safety razor blades are going to pay—the Minister need not persuade us they are not—the difference in increased cost between a 15 per cent. and a 75 per cent. tariff. Whether or not the Minister was right in saying that £35,000 worth of safety razor blades was imported annually into the country——

I said they were imported last year in spite of the tariff.

If the Minister stands over that figure it gives us some indication as to the increased cost that is going to be paid by the users of safety razor blades under a 75 per cent. tariff. The interesting thing about the No. 19 proposal is that we have had very serious disagreements between the employees and employers in some very important industries throughout the country on the question of the introduction of labour-saving machinery. As Deputy O'Sullivan pointed out, one of the Minister's recent great activities has been the introduction here of a very big and modern foundry, which is going to prejudice very seriously the employment given in quite a large number of small old-established foundries throughout the country. It will prejudice them both in their employment and in the security of the capital that is put into those industries. But the first magnificent gesture of the Minister in this matter of dealing with labour-saving machinery is in regard to the safety razor blade industry. I do not think the Minister should let pass the occasion of his putting before the House a proposal of this particular kind without indicating to us why this proposal is made in regard to the safety razor blade industry—an industry in which one would expect that the greatest possible use would be made of automatic machinery.

Have you any alternative?

I am asking why labour-saving devices should now be attacked in the razor blade industry——

Have you any alternative?

——at a very considerable cost to the razor blade user, while on the other hand, a very large number of old-established foundries giving a considerable amount of employment, and having invested in them a considerable amount of Irish capital, is being prejudiced by the setting up of what would be regarded as a new gigantic foundry in another part of the country? I am asking whether the Minister, arising out of the difficulties he has experienced in some other industries where workers have been making complaints about labour-saving devices, has anything to say to the House in regard to the matter.

In the discussion on the duty at No. 18 I explained the circumstances which led to the introduction of this duty. I just rise now to defend my general principles. I am in favour of the machine; I am in favour of the labour-saving device when it means reduced cost. I believe that if it does mean reduced cost it will in the long run mean increased employment as a general rule. It has not infrequently happened in certain industries that mechanisation was proceeded with to an uneconomic extent. I believe it has happened in this industry. It happened in another industry in Dublin which prospered when it was working by hand methods or semi-mechanical methods and collapsed when 100 per cent. mechanical production methods were introduced. In any event, I am dealing with this particular case on its merits. Our experience has shown that the hand-work method of production is just as efficient, having regard to the price of the product, as the automatic machine method. Under these circumstances I am in favour of the hand-work method, because it means, relatively, about five times the amount of employment.

There are a few points that the Minister has not yet made clear in this connection and I trust he will do so now. I gather that in the Carlow factory at present the machinery is not employed to the full capacity there. Is that correct?

I could not say that, but possibly it is.

If that cannot be said, then they are not capturing the market because they cannot produce more—because they have reached the limit of production with their plant —and therefore the ground for a tariff collapses so far as they are concerned and we can leave them out of it. I should like to know if the Minister is serious when he says that he is not in a position to say whether one of the two firms for which he claims a tariff is not working to its full capacity. He is not in a position to state whether that is so or not. I gather that that is the position.

I take it for granted that the capacity of both firms could be extended very considerably.

I am speaking now of the Carlow firm and the automatic machinery. A few moments ago the Minister was not in a position to say whether or not they were working to full capacity, and now he takes it for granted that they can be considerably extended. Yet, with that before him, he draws, in this one case, the conclusion that mechanisation has failed, although he knows, or assumes, that the factory is working a great deal below its producing capacity.

Oh, I do not know that.

Well, if it can be considerably extended, then it is working below its producing capacity.

It could be extended by the installation of additional machines.

I am referring to the factory as it stands. It is either producing to its full capacity or it is not. The Minister first told me that he did not know whether or not it was producing to its full capacity. I suggest that, for a Minister introducing a tariff, that is an extraordinary attitude for him to assume. Then he told me that the factory could produce considerably more than it is producing at present. When I pointed out that it followed, therefore, that it was not producing to its full capacity at present, he said that that did not follow because, apparently, what the Minister had in mind was an enlarged factory. I am speaking, however, of the present factory and, as far as it is concerned, there is no excuse for the increase in the tariff because, according to the Minister, they are not producing to their full capacity—or is that his contention? Which line is the Minister taking? Is it his line that they are producing to their full capacity or is it his line that they are not producing to their full capacity?

I am increasing the tariff in order to ensure that the balance of the requirements of the country will be made here.

The Minister does not know whether one of the two firms is producing to its full capacity or not.

I am assuming that in any event it can increase its capacity considerably.

Without increased machinery?

Yes, without increasing its machinery.

Good! That is the information I was denied a few moments ago, and denied with a certain amount of indignation when I drew an obvious conclusion. That being so, the Minister must recognise that he has no premise on which to base his argument as to the failure of mechanisation there, because the machinery, according to his statement of a minute ago, is not being worked to the full. There is no justification for a conclusion to the failure of mechanisation or of the mechanical process. I hold, therefore, that this is not an exceptional case. I am not arguing in favour of that particular process— of the substitution of machinery for hand labour—but I say that this is not exceptional, and the Minister's argument does not show that it is exceptional. On the contrary, if it shows anything, you have here a factory that, the Minister says, owing to the fact that the market was not sufficiently protected, is now working up to its full capacity. It is not working up to its full capacity. We should assume that, if it were working to its full capacity, it should produce cheaper. If that does not follow from the premises before us, I confess that I do not know what does follow. Therefore, I say, we are not dealing with an exceptional case here, and that is what I want to indicate to the Minister. You are giving special treatment, but the argument that is employed applies to any other number of industries as well, and, in a tariff policy that the Minister has now been sponsoring for a number of years, it is rather late in the day to wake up to that particular argument in favour of the number of things that have been done by the Minister recently.

There is another matter on which, perhaps, the Minister could give us information. I gathered from what he stated that there is about £35,000 worth of blades coming into the country at present, and that the amount manufactured here is a very small proportion indeed.

Oh, no. It is not a small amount.

Well, I meant that it was small as a proportion of the total amount.

It is not a very small proportion. It has quite a substantial output.

Well, could the Minister give us some figure? Could he tell us, roughly, what is the value of the output? I do not want an exact estimate, of course, but can he give a guess at the amount, since he says that it is not small?

I really could not say. I suppose it would be about 1,000 gross a week.

Of course, I do not suggest that the Minister could have this information immediately, but can he tell us if the Department is in a position to give that information and if he would be able to get it for us in the course of the next couple of weeks?

Well, then we will have some indication of what we are going on, and at present we have not. Another thing I should like to ask the Minister. What additional employment does he expect will be given? You do not get it by dividing the amount produced here at present by such-and-such a figure and then multiplying it, but has the Minister any idea of the amount of additional employment that will be afforded. I think the Minister mentioned 90 or 100 people in the Enniscorthy factory.

Well, has the Minister any idea of the amount of employment that will be given ultimately when he has closed the market completely to outside competition?

I could not say. That would have to be related to other factors.

Question—"That the reference proposed to be deleted stand"—put and declared carried.

I move amendment No. 20:—

To delete reference No. 20 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

I think that perhaps references Nos. 20, 21 and 22 might be taken together. I do not understand at all what they mean, but they do seem to hang together, and perhaps the Minister can explain whether they do or not.

I agree that there is a similarity, but they do not hang together. They are not brought forward as three parts of the one proposition, as either of them could have been proposed separately. No. 20 deals with advertising cards, price cards, show cards and similar articles made wholly or mainly of cardboard. There is a considerable market for these counter show cards in the Saorstát, and it is a business that is capable of being extended very greatly. I am not in a position to give the precise figures of the imports of these articles, but it is believed the market is valued at about £35,000 per annum. The production of these lithographed show cards is very skilled work, and the wages paid to the employees often range as high as £8 a week for the skilled artist, and £5 or £6 for the lithographic printers. In fact, about 60 per cent. of the total cost of production is represented by labour. It is a type of industry which, in my opinion, should receive every encouragement.

Did the Minister say that labour represented 50 per cent. or 60 per cent?

Sixty per cent. The production of these show cards is taking place here, and it is anticipated that at the end of three or four months after the duty is imposed, it should be possible to supply the full requirements of the market from home sources. We have attached a licensing provision, because it may be necessary to grant the privilege of free importation in certain cases where requirements cannot be met from home sources for a period after the imposition of the tariff. Apart from the desire to meet the difficulties of firms during that period, there should be no necessity for utilising that licensing provision except in very exceptional circumstances. The duty proposed is 50 per cent., and it is considered that that duty should be effective in securing that orders will be diverted from external to internal sources. There may be still for certain firms trading both in Great Britain and here, which advertise on a large scale, some advantage in having all their advertising material produced in bulk and imported despite the duty. On the whole, I think we will be able to get a far larger part of the business done here if the duty is imposed. It is a business we should encourage, because of the extent to which it is carried on, and the extent to which it is likely to increase in the future, as well as the nature of the employment afforded. We have satisfied ourselves, and have received assurances, that the duty will not involve any increase in the prices charged by Saorstát firms for this work.

I admit that I was with the Minister until the last, few words. It is a pity he made that statement. I gather that this duty will apply to firms of various kinds that sell articles in this country, and that when these articles are sent over, show cards will have to be sent also. The Minister thinks that in such cases, with bulk production, that these firms may probably pay the duty.

I am not sure that there is a very great advantage unless for a particular type of show card.

There may not be. The Minister's earlier statement indicated that 60 per cent. of the money went on wages, and that to a certain extent had a counter action on the statement that bulk production would be of advantage.

That is true.

That is where I cannot reconcile that portion of the statement with the opening portion. I gather that it is mainly home manufacturers will have to pay this duty, as the others may determine to do so. Those that will mainly come under the tariff are home manufacturers or shopkeepers who use show cards.

Show cards of a kind.

I gather from the Minister's statement that there is a possibility that foreign firms will prefer to send in advertisements or show cards of their goods.

That might happen. I do not know that it will happen in many cases.

It is an open question as far as the Minister is concerned. The one thing certain is that home manufacturers will have to come under this tariff if they want to send out show-cards with their goods. Here is a case where, according to the Minister, labour represents 60 per cent. of the work involved. In that case I admit, apart from the element of mass production, this is not the same as the other cases. There is no reason why this country should not be able to compete fairly well at a reasonable price with the imported article. Why, then, is a duty of 50 per cent. necessary? After all the Minister has done, or is alleged to have done, for industry, manufacturers might at least show a little of their patriotism by buying an article equally good, even if there was no tariff on it. Apparently the strong tariffites need this duty.

They believe in tariffs but not in patriotism.

These are the people we are told will not make full use of tariffs, and will not put up prices to the full extent of the tariffs. Surely the obvious thing is that every business man makes full use of the market, whether it is free or protected, as long as there is free competition. It is impossible to believe that full use will not be made of this 50 per cent. tariff.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

On behalf of Deputy Mulcahy, I move amendment No. 21:—

To delete reference No. 21 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

The proposal here is to put a duty of 50 per cent. on printed paper which is pasted on or firmly adhering to cardboard, such printed matter being printed by the use of movable type. In the Finance Act of 1932 there was a duty of 15 per cent. ad valorem and a preference duty of 10 per cent. on matter printed on paper and imported in bulk quantities. In 1933 that duty was increased to 50 per cent. in respect of matter wholly or mainly produced by means of movable type. These duties did not apply, however, to matter printed on paper which at the time of importation is pasted on, or otherwise firmly adhering to any other article or substance. At the time the duty was imposed it was considered advisable to insert that provision so as to ensure that the duty would not be charged on cartons which had to be imported with printed labels attached, the labels having been first forwarded from the Saorstát for that purpose. The necessity for the exemption no longer exists, owing to the development in the Saorstát of the manufacture of cardboard boxes and cartons, which are now subject to duty when imported empty. As a result of the exemption of the printed matter referred to from the scope of the existing duty upon printed paper, a number of anomalies have arisen. For instance, importers of printed pictures who have the prints mounted before importation can obtain them free, whereas traders here who desire to give some measure of employment by having the prints mounted in the Saorstát are forced to pay duty on them if they are unmounted at the time of importation. It is considered desirable to regularise the situation by imposing this 50 per cent. duty, which is the same as that on paper printed by means of movable type on the class of goods defined in the second column. Perhaps I have not made the position clear.

Perhaps if I asked a question we might get the matter clear. It applies only to movable type?

Is ordinary print already tariffed?

Ordinary print pasted on cardboard?

No, if it was on cardboard it was not dutiable. Ordinary print as distinct from lithographic print which is done by means of a slab. The ordinary print, such as the print of this Resolution, is done by movable type.

What I want to make quite clear is that if you have a card, printed by the lithographic process, say, a picture, that comes in free of duty?

Yes. It is subject to the first duty of 15 per cent.

It remains at the 15 per cent., but if it is printed by movable type, it is now subject to a duty of 50 per cent?

Printed paper has been subject to a duty of 50 per cent. since 1933, but the duty was not chargeable if the paper was pasted on cardboard. The difficulty which it was desired to meet had reference to chocolate boxes and similar containers. They are now being manufactured here and are subject to a duty. We have had a rather anomalous position which it is desired to rectify by extending the existing duty to printed paper pasted on cardboard.

This is to remove an administrative difficulty?

Yes. It will cover certain types of show cards imported at the lower rates.

No gigantic industry is contemplated?

I take it that there is no question that this duty will not apply to single containers coming into the country round other articles?

Oh, no. There is a separate duty as far as containers are concerned and they are only dutiable when empty.

Will this apply to certain classes of Christmas cards?

They are dutiable as stationery.

Will they be subject to this duty because they have printed greetings on them?

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
The following amendment appeared in the name of Deputy Mulcahy:
To delete reference No. 22 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

The same change is being effected here where the printing is not done by a movable type but is lithographic printing. A duty of 50 per cent. will apply to the printed matter pasted on cardboard.

This is also to remove an administrative difficulty?

Yes. It is imposed for the same reason, to remove an anomaly.

Amendment not moved.

I move amendment No. 23:

To delete reference No. 23 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

It is proposed by this reference to impose a new tariff of 50 per cent. on ribbons for typewriting machines. I should like to ask the Minister what is the reason for this 50 per cent. tariff. Is it intended as a revenue tariff, or, if it is intended as a tariff to stimulate industrial production here, are these things being manufactured here and, if not, is it proposed to manufacture them here? What is the native production expected to be and what employment will it give? Why should a tariff of 50 per cent. be necessary in order to set up such an industry?

The articles which are made the subject of a duty at references Nos. 23, 24 and 25 are about to be manufactured by a new company which is being established and which is erecting a factory for the purpose at Trim in County Meath. The articles are not yet manufactured here, but I understand that the company will enter into production at a comparatively early date. Of course, until supplies are available from this source, imports free of duty will be permitted under licence.

To everybody?

To everybody. When the firm goes into production, of course, that facility will be with drawn. The manufacture is being carried out by a Saorstát company which has the services of certain foreign technicians. They contemplate carrying out, in respect of these articles the complete process of manufacture from the raw materials up. They are proceeding to operate under a guarantee that the prices of their products will compare with the prices at which imported products for the same quality are now sold to the public.

Does that mean that they will not be higher?

They will not be higher, under like conditions of sale and subject to certain qualifications which may apply. Generally the articles will be sold at the same price at which they are now being sold. The duty is higher than would be required, therefore, for the purpose of affording protection were it not for the fact that in this industry the profits are fairly considerable and, in any event, slight variations in the prices of the commodities would not affect their sale to any appreciable extent. There is reason to believe that a lower rate of duty would be circumvented or would be inadequate to secure the market for the firm starting here, at any rate in its initial stages. I accordingly recommend that this rate of duty be imposed. The arrangement with the firm embraces this price guarantee. If that price guarantee should be departed from then the further maintenance of protection for the industry will have to be considered. I have no reason to believe that the firm will not be able to proceed with their plans upon the basis on which they have been formulated and that a not unimportant industry will be established in the town where a new concern of this kind will be of considerable benefit in easing the unemployment situation.

I should like to point out that the Minister proceeds by a regular formula when imposing tariffs of this kind. He imposes a tariff of 50 per cent. to set up a new industry, and says he has a guarantee that the price of the products will not be increased, just as he did in the case of the razor-blade industry.

The prices in that case are, in fact, lower than they were.

The prices are not lower. Will the Minister state where he got that information?

I say not merely are they lower for the home trade, but one firm is setting up an export trade on the basis of its lower prices.

Is that the reason that the tariff has had to be raised from 15 per cent. to 75 per cent.? It is the Minister's general formula that a tariff of 50 per cent. is required to enable a new industry to be started, and that the prices of its products will not be higher. Yet the prices are higher. The only change that ever takes place in the case of a tariff here is that the Minister comes into the House at a later stage and says that he wants a higher tariff—generally an increase from 33½ to 75 per cent.

Take the tariffs off.

I oppose a 50 per cent. tariff on principle.

Will the stuff be as good and at the same price?

Yes, quality for quality.

Will there be steps taken by means of examination to see that that will be so?

Because this stuff, for the purpose for which it is required, is of no use except it be of good quality.

What does the Minister mean by qualification?

Subject to the qualification that there will be no fluctuation in the price of the raw materials, and no exceptional charge, like an Excise duty, or any other unusual feature of that kind.

Question put: "That reference No. 23 stand."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 50; Níl, 31.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lavery, Cecil.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies P. S. Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.

I move amendment No. 24:—

To delete reference No. 24 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

Reference No. 24 imposes a duty of £2 10s. 0d. per pound weight on carbon copying paper. I should like to hear something about that proposal from the Minister.

I referred to this tariff in the discussion on the previous tariff. These things are being made by the same concern in the same factory and the same price-assurance has been given in relation to them. There will be no increase in price and the employment which will be given will not be by any means inconsiderable.

What is the price of a pound of carbon paper normally? It seems absurd to be putting a duty of £2 10s. 0d. per pound weight on carbon paper.

I cannot say what the price is. I expect there are various prices according to quality. It is necessary to have a fairly high duty in order to prevent the market being undersold and to ensure adequate protection of the industry.

It is, in fact, on the cheapest articles that this £2 10s. 0d. will be charged?

Yes. This is the minimum duty. There will, however, be adequate supplies of carbon paper without any increase of price.

We shall regard that as said by the Minister in all future cases but he need not ask us to believe it.

If the Deputy gets too credulous, I shall start to talk about a reduction of price.

I prophesied that long ago. The best way to reduce the cost of living is by putting on tariffs.

But the cost of living is going down.

The Minister should ask the man in the street about that.

Can the Minister now tell us the price of a pound of carbon paper?

I shall have the information for next stage.

Amendment put and negatived.

I move amendment No. 25:—

To delete reference No. 25 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

This reference imposes a duty of 50 per cent. or 6d. per article on certain things connected with duplicating. I understand that it means a duty of 6d. on every sheet of ordinary waxed paper used for the purpose of typing with a view to the production of a certain number of copies. Can the Minister make any defence of that tax?

It is in the same position as the duty in respect of carbon paper and typewriter ribbons.

And there will be no increase in price?

There will be no increase in price. All these articles will be manufactured here of a quality equivalent to the quality of the articles now imported. In order to ensure that the new concern will have adequate protection and be able to get to the point of producing in economic quantities as quickly as possible, it is necessary to have these minimum duties. In the case of these particular articles, I satisfied myself that fairly considerable profits are made by the distributing firms and that they could meet, to some extent, a lower rate of duty by reducing the price and still be able to carry on business.

I understand that the guarantee that there will not be an increase in price depends on the distributing firms not trying to get as much profit as they are getting at present.

I was not talking about the distributing firms in this country. I was referring to the firms engaged in the distribution trade generally. As regards price, what we should have to compare would be the ex-factory price with the c.i.f. import price.

The Minister was referring to foreign distributing firms?

I was not referring to the people who retail here but to the wholesalers.

Are there no wholesalers here?

There are.

And they make no profits?

I did not say that they make no profits.

Will they make the same profits now?

What I intended to convey was that the margin between the ex-factory price and the retail price is fairly considerable in relation to all these goods.

So far as we are concerned, the retailer will have to purchase from the wholesaler or manufacturer and we shall have to depend on some of them not making the same profits that they are making at present for protection against any increase in price. Is not that one of the factors which will have to be taken into account?

Does it not occur to the Deputy that we may be able to produce these articles as efficiently here as anywhere else?

I am basing my argument on the Minister's own statement, that one of the factors he was taking into account was the very large profits—I am speaking comparatively—made by distributing firms or wholesale firms——

That is a factor I am taking into account in deciding to impose a minimum rate of duty but not in relation to the price-guarantee.

Then I do not see why there cannot be a further reduction.

There may be.

If what the Minister says is true, is it not a case for the Prices Commission?

At present, this case could not be referred to the Prices Commission without an amendment of the Act. These articles are not manufactured here yet.

Nothing is done here in that way yet?

The factory is only being built.

The Minister is purely prophetic then? He does not know what type of goods will be produced at all?

If the assurances I have received as to price and quality are not carried out in practice, then the maintenance of the protective tariff will have to be considered.

Amendment put and negatived.

I move amendment No. 26:—

To delete reference No. 26 and all relevant references thereto in columns 2, 3 and 4.

This reference proposes to impose a duty of 75 per cent. on screws, nails, brads, staples and rivets made of iron, steel, copper, brass, bronze or gun metal. It is not only a duty of 75 per cent. It imposes that in addition to some unspecified duty which was apparently put on these things on the 8th November, 1935.

It is the same duty.

Under the heading "Special Provisions," there is a note:—

The duty mentioned at this reference number is in addition to any duty in force on the 8th day of November, 1935, by virtue of a Statutory Order made by the Executive Council and confirmed by Act of the Oireachtas, but in lieu of any other duty which may be chargeable on the article.

Do I understand from the Minister that no duty was put on?

There has been an emergency duty upon these goods of British manufacture since 1932, and that duty is being maintained, but this 75 per cent. duty upon goods of this description of any origin has been in operation since 8th November, 1935. It was imposed then by Emergency Order, and it is now being made a permanent duty in this Resolution; but it has been in operation since last November, although in fact it has not been charged, because licences have been issued freely to all applicants for free importation of these goods. A factory for the manufacture of these wire nails and screws is being constructed at Limerick. I understand that building operations are about to commence in the near future, but it will be some months before the factory is in production. It is a large scale enterprise, involving very considerable capital investment, and consequently it will be some time after building is commenced before the factory will be completed. In the meantime, of course, all requirements are being met by the issue of licences for the duty-free importation of whatever quantities are required.

The duty was imposed by an Emergency Order last November, merely to prevent forestalling of the duty following the public issue of the prospectus of the company which is proposing to engage in this business. It was felt that the issue of the prospectus might induce people to stock up in anticipation of the duty being imposed, and consequently it was considered necessary to move by Emergency Order. That Emergency Order has now been revoked by an Order made on the day following the Budget, and it is this duty which is now in operation, but it is a duty of the same amount. The other duty referred to in the fourth column is an emergency duty on goods of British origin which has operated since 1932.

What is the total of the two duties?

I understand that the bulk of the imports of these goods come from duty-free sources, to which the emergency duty does not apply. They come mainly from Belgium, I understand, and on such goods the duty is 75 per cent. On British goods it is 75 per cent., plus 10 per cent. emergency duty.

We have got it clear now that we may discuss this matter on the basis that the duty will be 75 per cent. The Minister asks the House to pass a duty of 75 per cent. on all these articles which are in use in every house in the country, rural and urban, and the only thing he says with regard to it is that a new industry is going to be established in Limerick. The House is entitled to hear from the Minister what are the facts with regard to the use and consumption and prices of these articles in the country, and what are the conditions under which they will be produced in the country which make it necessary for him to demand from this House authority for a 75 per cent. ad valorem duty in order that the industry may be set up here.

The factory which has been established is, I understand, likely to be as well equipped and organised as any factory of its kind anywhere, and able to produce these goods in a thoroughly efficient manner, but Deputies are, I am sure, aware that the production of these goods in other countries is very largely controlled by combines. I think that, as far as Great Britain is concerned, there is really only one firm in the business, and, in these circumstances, the ordinary rate of duty might not be effective to protect the new enterprise started here. In any event, the amount of the duty can be determined in relation to the probable policy of the firms which are at present supplying the market. So far as the prices of the goods are concerned, in cases of this kind, these have got to be controlled by a definite understanding with the firm concerned.

I know that certain Deputies have committed themselves to the theory that the price of any tariffed commodity produced here will be increased by the full amount, or almost full amount, of the tariff. That has not proved to be so in practice, but where it is probable that not more than one, two or a limited number of producers will be engaged in any industry in this country behind a tariff, we have to rely on definite understandings as to the prices to be charged in order to protect the consumers. That is what will apply in this case; in other words, we say to this particular firm: "We have assurances from you as to the price you are going to charge. So long as these assurances are observed and these prices operate, so long will the protection we consider necessary be afforded to you; but if you depart from these assurances, and if, in fact, the prices you charge are higher than those which you contracted for, without justification, then the removal of the protection will have to be seriously considered, or at any rate a definite reduction of the duty, according to the extent to which prices have been increased." That is always the practice, and the inevitable practice in respect of any industry where the extent of internal competition is not likely to be sufficient to enable prices to be kept down.

Of course, in this industry, although there is only one firm proposing to engage in it at present, there is no legal restriction upon any firm engaging in it, but, having regard to the nature of the industry and the heavy capital investment involved in it, it is not likely that there will at any stage be any considerable number of firms engaging in it.

From what I gather, this new factory in Limerick is the first of its kind in this country.

The quality of nails and staples is very important, and if the factory gives an undertaking that the quality of nails and screws, and staples in particular, is up to standard, I think the price should be very little above the price we are paying at present for the imported article. We are prepared to give every opportunity to the new factory, but at a price which is in fair competition with the price of the imported article. Nails, screws and staples are very much used in every house in the country and very often a poor quality is supplied to the user. Sometimes staples are supplied that are practically useless. Staples especially are things that should be of a good standard, and the same can be said of screws. Supplying that sort of article is hitting the people very hard. On looking at these goods they appear all right, but on using them one finds that they are almost useless. I hope the goods that will be made under the protection now being given by this tariff will be up to the mark, and that the prices will compare favourably with the quality of the goods.

I would like to remind Deputy Holohan that the complaint he is making can only apply at present to the foreign produced nails, screws and staples. There is nothing else used at the moment, for up to the present none of these things have been made here. The Deputy may be quite satisfied that the screws, the nails and staples that are used up to now are foreign made articles, and if they are bad there is no need to be blaming Irish manufacture. I for one would support any tariff on any article that is not produced here if that article could be produced here and give employment to our own people.

And the farmers are well able to pay for them.

When the farmers were dealing with Deputy Mulcahy they were very badly able to pay for them.

They were able to pay their rates.

I think the attitude that Deputy Mulcahy has adopted here to-day will clear the air and show what his outlook is and what his attitude towards Irish industry is. The Deputy spoke about screws——

I am afraid I will have to put the screw on now.

After the speeches of the Opposition Party this evening the air will be clearer as to the attitude of that Party towards Irish industry. I would like to hear Deputy Bennett's views, and I would be glad to know whether he will follow his leader into division lobby in this matter. He is a County Limerick farmer.

I protest against this tariff of 75 per cent. in the matter of this industry. I am aware that the industry is to be established in Limerick, but if it were established on my own farm I would object to this tariff of 75 per cent. as unnecessary. All of us are anxious to help Irish industry, but when it comes to saying that an Irish industry wants protection to the extent of 75 per cent., then any one who has any regard for the purchasing power of the people must be opposed to it. The Minister has made a statement that the 75 per cent. extra would never be charged, but our experience on this matter is different. Personally I am not at all sure that the great bulk of the 75 per cent. will not be charged. I know another Irish industry which got a tariff to protect it. I do not wish to mention any names in this House, but I can give the name to the Minister in confidence. In the case of that industry, assurances were given to us that the product would be sold at the same price as it is sold in England. That assurance has not been carried out, and we have no guarantee that the same thing will not occur in the case of this factory in Limerick. I assume from the names of the people at the head of this firm that it will be a well-conducted industry, but I must say that I am as opposed to giving a 75 per cent. protection to Irish goods produced in Limerick as I would be if they were produced in Cork, Dublin or anywhere else. It should not be necessary to have this tariff of 75 per cent. If a tariff of 75 per cent. is necessary as a protective duty, then the industry is not worth being protected.

There are a couple of things in the Minister's statement that are not quite clear. Referring to the complaint made by Deputy Holohan, it is quite obvious now to anybody who has experience that all kinds of nails, screws and staples are coming in, some of them good——

And some of them very bad.

Yes, and Deputy Corry's remark was quite irrelevant. There are different qualities of these goods. It is quite obvious that there are good and bad screws coming in and the Deputy's remarks had no relevance at all to the matter we are debating or to the statement made by Deputy Holohan. I gather for the first time, that in this particular Schedule control will be necessary because there is a monopoly. But in many cases already the Minister has set up what are practical monopolies as far as this country is concerned. The Minister holds theoretically that other firms can start, but in practice it will be found, because of the concessions given to these people, that others cannot start. Is there going to be continuous inspection as to the quality of the goods turned out or will the Minister wait until some person makes a complaint? Or, on the other hand, if a person makes a complaint will that prove that the man who makes that complaint is a bad Irishman because forsooth he is complaining of the goods turned out by an Irish firm? It occurs to me that that is the charge that will be made. He will be challenged to say if the articles are good or bad. If he says they are not good, then that is clear proof that he is a bad Irishman. In these matters it appears to me we are not relying on probity or quality or price or anything else, but on propaganda. That is altogether wrong. Let the firms stand on what they can produce, and let us not hear the sort of rubbish we have heard. Do not let us have the rubbish preached that no Irish industry can produce any goods that are bad. An excellent Irish industry can produce excellent goods but the suggestion that no Irish industry can produce bad goods or inferior goods is too ridiculous to be refuted. But that is the line that is taken up in this House and elsewhere as well.

I confess I do not know what the Minister meant by the cryptic phrase that the duty was to be scaled down. I confess I was unable to grasp the meaning of that phrase. I took down the words—that the rate of duty is to be scaled down to the extent that the price goes upwards from the agreed price. That, I take it, is one of the operations contemplated by the Minister according to the statement he made. I took down his words but I do not exactly know what they mean. I would be glad if the Minister would take an opportunity of explaining the statement. Supposing the Minister agrees that the goods are to be produced and sold here at 5 per cent. or 10 per cent. above the price at which they are sold in England, and let us suppose they are acually sold at 30 per cent. above that price, then I take it that you are to scale down your duty, and that off the 75 per cent. you are taking 20 per cent. or 25 per cent., as the case may be. Is that the position? What does the statement made by the Minister mean—scaling down the duty according as the price goes beyond the price agreed on? How will the price agreed on be determined or will it not change continuously? Under the circumstances will there not be continuous interference on the part of the Minister with this industry? And what holds true in this industry holds true in the other industries that he is now starting by this particular tariff policy. Personally I was glad to hear that he had that objection to the combines or to the recommendations of the combines in this country whether the goods come in directly to the market or whether the firms come in and set up here.

What I meant to convey was this—that a certain company on the understanding that the Government was prepared to recommend to the Dáil the imposition of a duty of this amount has invested a large sum of money—in this case £125,000—in the establishment of a factory for the production of these goods. We have recommended a certain duty to the Dáil and we have done so on the basis of the proposals that have been submitted to us, proposals that in this case involve an undertaking that when the factory is in full production the prices of the commodities sold by that factory will not exceed by more than 10 per cent. the prices of commodities of comparable quality sold by British firms in Great Britain. That is the understanding with the company. If that understanding is departed from, if the prices charged, say, go 20 per cent. above the prices of comparable qualities in Great Britain, then, any moral obligation there might be upon the Government to retain the protection given to that firm ceases to operate.

The Minister said in his first statement that he would consider seriously withdrawing the protection and then modified that by the cryptic statement that he made that there is going to be a scaling down of the duty.

That is just it. In these circumstances we might remove the duty altogether or we might say: "Your undertaking given to us was that your price was only to be 10 per cent. above the British prices; your protection now will be only 10 per cent." In any event we are free to reconsider our position and to take whatever steps we consider best to safeguard the interests of the consuming public.

Does that apply to the other classes?

In similar circumstances, yes.

Take an industry producing an article on which, a tariff of 40 per cent. was placed by the Government——

To what article or firm does the Deputy refer?

I do not wish to mention the name here. In this particular case the Government imposed a tariff of 40 per cent. on the goods which this firm is producing. I have seen two samples of the goods produced under this tariff of 40 per cent. The price charged by the firm producing the home-made article is such that the home-made article is sold at 9d. and the imported one can be sold at 9½d. This article is sold by the pound. In the imported article there are nine yards to the pound, but there are only seven yards to the pound in the article manufactured here. Surely there is more than 10 per cent. being made as a profit?

The 10 per cent. applies to these commodities only.

In this case they are making over 40 per cent.

That may be, but I do not know what case the Deputy is referring to.

In one case there is a profit of 10 per cent. contemplated. There is at least a 10 per cent. profit in that sense above the price on delivery here.

No; it is 10 per cent. above the price at which British goods are sold in Great Britain.

That is, 10 per cent. over the price in Great Britain? We have at least here, where we have a monopoly, an acknowledgment that the thing is not going to be cheaper.

There is one other matter in relation to this. The position is that we have agreed to recommend the imposition of the duty on that understanding, but we are not necessarily accepting a price 10 per cent. above the British price as reasonable. If circumstances should arise in which it would appear that undue profits were being made, there is nothing to prevent the operation of the machinery under the Control of Prices Act to deal with that situation.

I am not so much interested in the question of undue profits as I am in relation to what the consumer has to pay. Whether certain things are due to the size of the market for which he is catering, efficient management or undue profits, does not matter from the point that I am urging. I am looking at it from the point of view of the consumer. I understand that here we are contemplating an increase. I gather the 10 per cent. is not fixed?

Shall we say it is a maximum?

I do not see why the Minister should say that it may be regarded as a maximum? In this particular instance he has induced people to invest a sum of £125,000 towards the establishment of an industry, and in the circumstances one may assume that he will be inclined to look leniently on the quality of the goods they produce, and one has the feeling that he might reconsider the question in relation to the 10 per cent.

When we come to deal with articles such as these that are in common use and when one begins to examine the matter closely, quite a lot of important considerations arise. The Minister said that no matter what tariff is put on it will not mean an increased price. In my opinion in 99 per cent. of the cases where tariffs were put on articles it has worked out that way. This evening it was emphasised in relation to other things that we are going to get the same service at the same price. If that is so, it does not matter about the percentage of the tariff—if we are going to get articles at the same price. Deputy Bennett said he considered 75 per cent. was too high. If it meant that we were going to use an article at 75 per cent. of an increased price it would be too high, but if, as the Minister has pointed out—he told us he had an assurance on the point—that we are going to get the same service in relation to these articles at the same price or at 10 per cent. over the British price, that is a different thing. One will not object very much if one pays 4d. or 6d. for nails. But we must get to the serious side of this matter. Subject to the Minister's correction, I do not know any item yet where an inquiry has been made in that regard and the price has been reduced.

I know of several.

Perhaps certain things come more under my notice than the notice of the average member of the Dáil, because practically every day in my place there is a comparison of prices—prices paid a mile away and prices paid at home—and it has never yet been pointed out to me where we stand on an equal footing in respect of any article on which there is a tariff. I want the Minister to understand that I am with him if he gets the firm in question to do as he says. If they sell the different grades of stuff that we want and at the same price, quality for quality, we have no argument, and I would say that 75 per cent. would give them the whole home market. I want to impress on the Minister that if we give these facilities to these firms that are operating we will have to go further and have the position carefully examined. I could name several articles in regard to which we are not getting the promised service and when one draws attention to the fact they say, "We do not ask you to buy it, but you cannot get anything else."

Is the Minister satisfied that the one factory in Limerick will be sufficient to supply the needs of the whole country?

I think so; it is a fairly large concern.

Question—"That reference No. 26 proposed to be deleted, stand"—put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 51; Níl, 27.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Norton, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lavery, Cecil.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Debate adjourned.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 26th May, 1936.