Sheepskin (Control of Export) (Amendment) Bill, 1938—Second Stage.

I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. The need for this measure arose out of certain court proceedings that were taken against persons who attempted to export sheep skins without a permit under the Sheepskin (Control of Export) Act. The Act prohibits the exportation of sheep skins, and makes it an offence to export them, but as it stands at the moment unless exportation actually takes place no offence is committed. In the prosecution to which I have referred the decision went against the Revenue Commissioners on that account. It is proposed to amend the Act by making it also an offence to attempt to export as well as to export. That is one of the amendments which it is proposed to make. The other is to repair a defect in the existing Act, which is that double penalties are provided for in the case of the same offence. In sub-section (2) the offence of exporting is made liable to a fine not exceeding £100, and in sub-section (4) it is made subject to the entire penalties under the Customs Consolidation Act, 1876, and an additional fine of £100, or treble the value of the goods, at the discretion of the Revenue Commissioners. It is proposed to provide that the offence should be subject only to the penalties imposed by sub-section (4) of the relevant section of the Act.

Would the Minister explain what he means by "attempting to export"? Where does that commence and where will it stop? Can the Minister define that for us?

The Bill proposes to make it an offence to bring prohibited goods to any quay or other place for the purpose of being exported.

Question put and agreed.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, 16th February.