Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Duty on Fishermen's Oilskins.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state whether he will exempt from duty fishermen's oilskins, on which 50 per cent. duty has to be paid at present.

As suitable oilskins for fishermen are available from home manufacturers, there is no justification for exempting such articles from duty.

Arising out of the Parliamentary Secretary's reply on behalf of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, is he aware that a great many fishermen who have to face the perils of the seas state that the domestic article does not meet the requirements of the heavy wear involved in deep-sea fishing? If judgment is to be made in this matter, would the Minister not be more reasonably guided by those who use the oilskins than by those who make the oilskins?

Mr. Lynch

I will make that suggestion to the Minister, but I understand that the goods manufactured at home have been on the market for a considerable time, and, up to some time ago at any rate, no complaint was made direct to the manufacturers.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary not aware that the commodity offered to the fishermen is a plastic substitute, that, when the fishermen ask for the ordinary oilskins, they are offered an oilskin which I do not think anybody contends is satisfactory and told that they ought to be able to get on with the plastic? The fishermen say that, under the heavy conditions of deep-sea fishing, the plastic tears and they come home from fishing, wet. If the Parliamentary Secretary asks any of his colleagues in the Party from the fishing areas, they will confirm what I am saying. Surely, for deep-sea fishermen at least, facilities ought to be provided for the purchase of these garments.

I know that there are complaints by the fishermen about the stuff they are getting.

Mr. Lynch

I am sure the matter will be further examined.