Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 16 Jan 1935

Vol. 19 No. 11

Public Business. - Control of Imports—Quota Orders.

On behalf of the Minister for Lands I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 1) Order, 1934, made on the 31st day of August, 1934, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

I want to ask the Minister what steps he has taken, in giving a monopoly to the Dunlop Company for the manufacture of tyres, to ensure that a fair wages clause will be inserted. These people have got a very valuable monopoly, and it is only right and proper that steps should be taken to secure that the people employed in this industry will have reasonable security as regards wages and working conditions.

Is the Minister in a position to give any indication when Irish-made tyres will be available?

The question of the position of the Dunlop Company hardly arises under this Order, because this Order in no way confers any monopoly on the Dunlop Company. The Dunlop Company are not getting under this, in the strict legal sense, a monopoly. They may have an effective monopoly, the position being that they will be the only manufacturers behind the tariff barrier. There is no legal barrier, however, to any qualified person in the Free State manufacturing tyres if he wanted to do so. The only arrangement with the Dunlop Company involves the calculation of the price at which their commodities will be sold on the basis of a formula which presupposes the payment of wages here corresponding to those paid for similar work done in Great Britain. If the wages here are higher, then the price varies accordingly; if the wages are lower, the price will be lower accordingly. The intention, however, as far as I understand, is to pay what have been the recognised rates for these functions in Great Britain. It is anticipated that production will be commenced within the course of three or four months; but it will not be until after about six months, when the full range of production will have taken place, that the imports will have been reduced to a negligible quantity in the classes of tyres affected in consequence.

I should like to take the opportunity to deal with this question of conditions of employment, but not specifically or wholly in respect of pneumatic tyres. We have a series of motions here and the question in a broader way might be raised so that the Minister can tell us if there is any definite line of policy adopted in regard to these industries which are being helped and for which most of these motions are really in preparation. I am moved to this by the publication yesterday of the census of production reports and, so far as they have gone, the census of production reports for 1932. If the Minister will examine the figures given and compare the proportion of the net output that goes to wages and salaries he will find that there has been a progressive decline. In 1926, of the industries which are productive of transportable materials, 55 per cent. of the net output went for wages and salaries; in 1929, 47 per cent.; in 1931, 44 per cent.; and, so far as the reports have been published, in 1932 it was round about the same figure on the wages side, because the salaries are not published in the preliminary reports. There is a steady decline in the proportion of net output which goes to wages and salaries, which obviously means that the people earning money by the conduct of industry are progressively less able to buy the output of that industry. That is an indication of an economic tendency which I am sure the Minister is aware of. The more highly organised those industries are the more accentuation there will be of that tendency. It is necessary, therefore, to counter it by some provision at the beginning of the operations of these industries. I hope the Minister will take this to heart and at least declare a policy which will affect the proportion of net output which goes to paying the workers in the industry.

I am afraid I could not at this stage undertake to discuss the conclusion which Senator Johnson has drawn from these figures. I think the conclusion is wrong; but it would take me a long time to prove it, and even then I probably would not convince him. The reduction in the relationship between the amount which went in wages and the net output does not mean that there has been a reduction in wages. It really means that the process of industry has been so changed that a higher output can be secured with less labour.

I suggest to the Minister that in certain of the newer industries the general experience has been that at the beginning the newly-trained workers cannot turn out as much, and if they were to retain the output at the commencement, you will find that most of them could not continue the industry. It is almost natural with new industries that up to a certain point that tendency would be justified, but not perhaps continuous. It is natural that it should be so.

A smaller proportion of net output to workers employed in the industry.

Each worker has a greater output than he had at the beginning. That is my point.

On the other question raised by Senator Johnson, I may say that it is the policy of the Department to encourage the fixation of wage rates by agreement, following consultation between representatives of the employers and employees. It would be only where, through lack of organisation and other circumstances, such consultation and agreement did not appear to be possible, that other action will be taken such as scheduling an industry under the Trade Board Act. The main endeavour always is to get these rates fixed by agreement.

Would not the sensible way to settle the question of wages be, if the products of these factories are being produced at a cheaper rate, that they would be reduced in price to the public? In that way the workers would be getting better value by buying the products at a cheap rate. Would not that be a better way of settling the wage rates than to fix rates as you propose to do? Does the Minister agree that that would be the proper way— that the article would become cheaper on the market and then the lower rate of wages would buy more of the article? There would be no loss to labour in that way and the public generally would be benefited.

I would like on this particular Quota Order to put one or two points to the Minister. This is one of the most important if not the most important monopoly which it is proposed to confer upon any manufacturer. I would like if the Minister when this monopoly is being given would see in a statutory way that proper safeguards are inserted—that is, safeguards as far as rates of wages, etc. are concerned. Where in an industry of this kind a fair number of people are employed and where this concession is given, the Minister should put in a proviso that the rates of pay are such as shall be agreed upon between the trade unions and the employers. In that way you ensure at once the trade union rates of pay and only trade union rates shall apply.

At the present time we are conferring concessions upon employers— such concessions as are not enjoyed by employers in any other country. We do not ask them to take any little risk at all. What happens is—somebody comes along to the Ministry and says that if a sky-high tariff or a complete embargo in respect of some particular commodity is imposed, he will erect a factory that in one or two years will manufacture whatever is required in this country of that particular commodity. In this case, Messrs. Dunlops have not been asked to risk one penny in advance. They get their protection before they even proceed to build the factory. These being the circumstances then it is not asking too much to require these concessionaires to give conditions of employment which will be up to the standard at least of employers that have no such concession given them. We have, through our own legislation, through the Emergency Imposition of Duties Act and the Control of Manufactures Act set up here the equivalent of an economic dictatorship.

We have given the Government control of imports. New duties are imposed without consultation with the Oireachtas. When these come subsequently before the Oireachtas, they have in no case been rejected even though they might be objected to. It is not intended that they should be rejected because when these duties or embargos have been in operation for some time, many industries are set up as a result of these concessions conferred in that way. There is no intention of any reversal of the process. For that reason conditions should be inserted so that these firms will pay rates of wages that are considered fair. We know that in some cases under some of the monopolies set up rates of wages are being paid that are a disgrace. Some of these firms are employing female labour and child labour in factories where male labour and adult labour should be employed. We are asking that these concessions will be given to no factories that are certainly a menace to the health and well-being of those concerned.

When President Roosevelt started his National Recovery Act Campaign he succeeded really in establishing trade unionism for the first time in many industries in the United States. It is true that the unions did not approve of many things that had been done under the National Recovery Act. But that is one thing that was made obligatory upon the employers—the recognition of official trade unionism instead of the infamous company unions that were a feature of the industrial life in America. President Roosevelt made it compulsory upon employers, having secured certain rights and certain concessions, that they should recognise the rights of their employees, and therefore by the distribution of purchasing power, enable the people of America to buy the commodities that they produce in their factories. I hope that the Minister will, in the case of the industry dealt with in this motion, see that those who get this concession will recognise fair rates of pay and fair conditions of employment for the workers. In most of these cases the effective limit on the exploitation of the consumer is very little. The procedure is to pass on everything to the consumer. There is no doubt that the cost of living in regard to many of these commodities has gone up and it is only the small purchasing power of the people that is preventing the cost of these commodities from going up still higher.

I am rather glad that Senator O'Farrell has referred to the price of these commodities. There is the danger, having regard to the Minister's remarks, that in these industries you may have the employer and the employee agreeing in the matter of wages but very much to the dissatisfaction of the public. But I do not agree with the Senator in the rest of what he said. I think he was unduly alarming on this question of the embargo on imports. He said that the manufacturers had not taken any risks; that there was no risk for the companies concerned. Senator O'Farrell while criticising the dangers in the embargo on imports and while pointing out what he called an economic dictatorship made references to which I could not agree. I am not going into the question now as to whether we have or have not an economic dictatorship. At all events there is no question that the Government have very strong economic powers. But the mandate that is given under those powers will be only so long as the Government chooses. The allowing in of their main commodities—cotton and rubber—will altogether depend on the Government and the same may be said as to the output. The quota can be taken off, reduced or dealt with in any way the Government wishes. Therefore, the idea that the Government is giving something without any guarantee and no risk on the part of the manufacturer is a false one. The Government have power to do what they like, subject, of course, to the fact that the industry is carried on in the interest of the public. No Government will do anything else. I think, however, there is an idea abroad that so long as you have a quota you are creating a privileged position for five or six people. We are doing nothing of the kind. We give power and authority for the etting up of these industries, but when the quota is fixed, it means that the State has power to regulate the output.

We are dealing here with Quota Orders made by the Government from August and October last up to now. One point that strikes me very forcibly is that in making those Quota Orders sufficient consideration has not been given to the whole question. The object of these orders is to give more employment to our own nationals. I do not want to refer to Messrs. Dunlops. They are only numbers here to me. I refer to tyres, boots and things of that sort and it does not matter much which of them you take. I suppose I had better confine myself to one. Take tyres. Did the Executive Council consider the number of men employed in Dublin as agents for tyres, as wholesale distributors and as retailers, and did they consider the number of these men who will be knocked out of employment when we start the manufacture of our own tyres here? People may say that there will be as much employment given here to the distributors of the Irish tyres as is given at present. There will not, when you have only one firm, because one firm will do the work of all the others and it will very soon cut out the wholesalers. They will go direct to the retail trade. I do not object to the manufacturer going to the retail trade if the money that is saved to the manufacturer is passed on to the consumer, but it is not. I do not forget the money that is paid out in employment and in distribution by the other firms engaged in these industries here. These moneys keep families going. We used to read in our history books of the old days in Ireland when we had our kings and our princes. Twenty-five years ago we had merchant princes in Dublin. What the Executive Council should consider now is—are we creating a new class of manufacturing princes?

It is well known that in many of these new industries—I am not referring to Dunlops—the wages paid are scandalously low. They are getting the cheapest labour they possibly can while the people running these factories are all doing very well. They are cutting out middle-men as far as they can. They are cutting out the wholesaler, the agent and everybody else who formerly got employment. They are going direct to the retailer. After all, when you weigh matters up, are we providing more employment? Naturally we get in machines to make all these goods, but the actual employment given to Irish hands and Irish brains is what matters. Mind you, although I say this, I do not object to the Government's policy on the question. The only thing I would say is that perhaps they are going a little too fast. I would certainly say also that the previous Administration went a little too slow. I only mention this from the point of view that, if a monopoly or a quota is given you should carefully consider what the consequences are going to be. Certainly anybody who gets a monopoly should be asked to pay decent wages and should, as far as possible, give employment to men rather than to machines. They should, furthermore, see that the people working under them are getting that to which they are entitled—a living wage.

Question put and agreed to.

On behalf of the Minister for Lands, I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 2) Order, 1934, made on the 31st day of August, 1934, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

I second

Question put and agreed to.

On behalf of the Minister for Lands, I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 3) Order, 1934, made on the 18th day of September, 1934, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

I second.

This Quota Order deals with boots and shoes. There are a number of suggestions which I should like to put forward for the consideration of the Minister in the administration of this particular Order in the coming year. There are also some criticisms I should like to make, some of which are based on my own experience and a large number of which have been put to me by persons who are interested in the import of boots and shoes. I am not opposing the Quota Order in any way but I do want to make suggestions, some of which I think would apply to other Orders and all of which would reasonably apply to this Order and, to some extent, to the next Order which also deals with a different class of boots and shoes. The first criticism that I should like to make is that when a Quota Order is issued towards the end of the year, certainly in the second half of the year, it is not necessary to insist upon basing the quotas given to the various importers on the imports for one year up to December 31st. It would be much fairer, I think, to take a more convenient date, such as the end of the month prior to the Order itself or perhaps six weeks before the Order. If the Order is to be fair in its application, it should deal with the actual requirements for the period up to, as near as possible, the date of the Quota Order. Where any firm has made special arrangements or extended its business it might find itself definitely crippled by the fact that you go back almost a year in order to obtain the basis. I put that forward for the consideration of the Minister. There is no reason why you should go back to the 31st December of a certain year except perhaps that the Department had a number of forms with that date printed on them. It is a definite drawback to the importers.

I should also like to ask the Minister in connection with this Order whether quotas for the coming year—I know that we are now in the Second Quota period—are going to be based on the 1933 figures, as the first portion has been, or whether the Department is going to ask for information regarding imports during 1934. Then again the information required in the first instance failed entirely to take into consideration the position of firms who were importing less in 1933 by reason of the fact that they had increased their trade with Irish manufacturers. The first quotas were based, as I understand it—the Minister can correct me if I am wrong—on the imports of the particular importer during 1933, so that a man who during 1933 failed to buy any Irish manufactures was actually placed in a better position by getting a larger quota in the first instance than the person who had bought a certain proportion of Irish-manufactured goods. I think that was a point that was probably overlooked by the Minister. I think that is not fair nor do I think it is desirable. I know of one firm, not my own, which specialised in Irish-manufactured goods and which had gone very near the correct figures. The Minister will know the figures, but let us assume for the sake of argument that they are fifty-fifty. I think that a firm or a person who bought 50 per cent. of his stock of boots and shoes in Ireland and who had of his own free-will or through a spirit of patriotism, achieved that position, before the quota order was made, should be left to enjoy that position and should not be placed in a position under which he is only allowed to import 25 per cent. of his requirements whereas the person who imported all his requirements previously is allowed to get 50 per cent. That, of course, is a problematical case but it goes to prove my point.

I am not suggesting that there were many firms who had reached that fifty-fifty basis but I do suggest that according to the nature of the business done, the percentage of Irish goods purchased in some cases would be very considerable. I should say that in the case of firms who stock only men's boots and shoes a very large proportion of their stock would be purchased in Ireland, while the firm trading in ladies' or children's boots and shoes would require to import a much larger percentage. I am possibly taking the two extremes. I do not say that the Minister should take into consideration the fluctuations of the trade in this way in every case, but I am showing, at the same time, that a certain amount of injustice does arise and that you must go as far as you can to meet it. I think it is beyond doubt that firms dealing in the cheaper class trade in ladies' and children's boots and shoes can get a much smaller proportion of their requirements in Ireland than those who deal in the better class. In the case of men's boots, I understand that it is possible for a firm to get these boots and shoes in Ireland if there is a sufficient output from the factories. Almost every kind is being made here. There are certain special types such as surgical shoes and the narrow fittings which are not yet produced here, but there is a substantial production of ordinary boots and shoes. In the case, however, of the cheaper classes of ladies' boots and shoes, worn by the working classes, the percentage made here is exceedingly small.

A little later, a request came to importers of boots and shoes to state the extent of their Irish manufactured trade. I do not know what the general experience was. My own experience was that the percentage for the previous year would not have been nearly as good as for the later year because it was increasingly easy to buy Irish-manufactured goods. The percentage was from 20 to 25 and the net result of sending in particulars of Irish-manufactured goods was that one got a quota for 11 additional pairs, or 22 singles, to adopt the term used by the Department. That arrived ten days before the end of the quota period. As the quota covered only 11 pairs, it did not really matter but if it had been for any substantial amount, it could not have been made use of so far as any manufacturer was concerned. I am still puzzled as to why the Department insists on dealing in singles. I can assure them, from a fairly long experience, that nobody buys a single shoe in a retail shop. Even the few people who have wooden legs buy a pair of shoes. For some reason I have not been able to fathom, the first licences were sent out in singles. Quite a number of people quite genuinely believed that pairs were intended. Others decided that they would not trouble about the matter and would take the licence as referring to pairs. Other innocent persons, like myself, rang up the Department and were told that the licence referred to singles and that if the number were divided by two, it would give the number of pairs which could be imported. My mathematics were equal to that and, consequently, I did not make any mistake as to the number ordered by my firm. But a number of other people did make a mistake. Fifteen or 20 smaller people in the country came to me to know what they could do about the matter. I assured them that they could not get a more sympathetic staff than that at Lord Edward Street. I can pay that compliment to them. That was my own experience. How they kept their tempers and received people as courteously as they did under the conditions under which they had to deal with these quota orders, I do not know. Nothing I say here is by way of criticism of that staff. Although a lot of people have come to me, I have heard no criticism of the staff in connection with these quota orders. Some of these people came back to me and said they had been treated quite fairly, as they had made a bona fide mistake. They were allowed to get double the quantity in during the preliminary period. If that be true —some people told me it was so—I suggest to the Minister that, to be fair all round, he should have increased the quantity by the requisite amount and extended the right to others. However, that is not a very big point and I am not going to debate it at any length.

I should like to ask the Minister whether, after experience of the first quota period or second quota period, it would not be possible to issue the licence about a month before the commencement of the new period. The total quota for the new period is announced some considerable time— about a month, I think—before the new quota period. If that announcement could be made a little earlier and if the allotments could be issued two or three weeks before the period, it would be a great convenience to many firms. The principal reason for that is that the medium-sized firm, which has been in the past able to buy direct from English manufacturers, cannot get delivery at very short notice. It lessens the time very considerably, when the quota period is only three months, if you do not get, as is the case at present, the quota licence until the first day of the new period. There may be administrative difficulty in making the change. I can understand that the difficulty would be serious in the first quota period but, as the quota gets established and the register is prepared, it should be possible to issue the licences three or four weeks before the period. This suggestion has been put to me by several people who asked me to mention it here as a thing which would be of very definite advantage to them. I think I am correct in saying that the Minister allots, under the Act, 75 per cent. of the quota set out. Where it is decided to allot the remaining 25 per cent., the benefit is very much reduced if that allotment arrives only at the end of the quota period. In the case of boots and shoes, quite a number of firms had so much on order that the allotment was useful to them at any time. They had only to send a telegram in order to get the boots sent on. That will not operate during the coming year. What is likely to happen is that firms who have been buying from manufacturers direct and who have, accordingly, been able to give the public better value will, owing to the shortness of the notice, be obliged to buy from English warehouses. That would be a great mistake and the public would suffer because the value would not be as good as if the stocks were bought direct from the manufacturer. A trader cannot do a regular trade within the quota unless he is given time and can give an order for reasonable quantities.

That brings me to another point on which, I suppose, the Minister will not agree with me. I ask him to make the quota for six months in the case of boots and shoes. According to their class of trade, certain wholesalers would probably prefer to take the bulk of their requirements in the earlier part of the year, but the retailers who buy direct would buy most largely during the second three months. Probably the Minister will say that the imports for each period of three months during the year are much the same. So far as individual firms are concerned, that is not the case. The wholesaler who must do his distribution at the buying period—at the end of March and the beginning of April —must have his stock in during the earlier part of the year. The trader who is buying direct will take his stock at the later period. The present system operates against the middle-sized man, who has either to do without his share of the quota or find capital to get a quarter of his year's supply in the first three months, when he does not really need it. The most serious difficulty is that of buying in sufficiently large quantities to be able to buy from the best manufacturers. If one buys in small quantities and is confined to two or three manufacturers, one does not get the best value. When one is buying in large quantities, one can get a cut price. The manufacturer will rarely refuse to reduce the price if the order is a large one. It is, therefore, not only in the interests of importers but in the interests of the public that people here should be in a position to place sufficiently large orders to obtain these prices. I should like to urge on the Minister that he should work out some scheme which would take into consideration the Irish purchases in the particular year and by which the quota would be based on the total figure and not solely on imports.

Various suggestions were made by Senator Douglas which, I think, are worthy of attention and which might well be adopted if no administrative difficulty would arise. There is, of course, no clear reason why we should base the individual quota calculations upon the figures for the previous calendar year. Any period of 12 months, concluding with the most recent date for which the trade and import statistics would be available, would probably be equally satisfactory. We have to work upon these figures because they are the only reliable figures we can get.

It might be possible to devise a system of working the allocation of licences on a basis of total purchases, but that would require a considerable amount of extra work on the part of the staff in order to satisfy themselves of the accuracy of the figures supplied.

I did not suggest that. I only suggested Irish purchases, because I believe they could be properly checked.

The position is becoming more simple as the operation of the Order becomes smoother. During the first period we did allow for some confusion, not only because a considerable number of importers mistook the figures as to the number of pairs of boots and shoes, but because of the fact that a large number failed to apply within the statutory time limit. We anticipated that that would be so. No discretion is given under the Act. The register is prepared and those on the register up to a particular date are entitled to get a quota. There is a portion of the quota in respect of which the Minister has an element of discretion. That discretion will be exercised in favour of those supporting Irish manufacture. The existence of the 25 per cent. surplus has heretofore been used to prevent hardships arising out of mistakes made by those mistaking pairs instead of singles, and to enable those who did not apply in time to get licences.

Is the Minister not prepared to make a small adjusted increase?

I do not think that necessary. The reduction, in the first quota period, was only 40 per cent. In fact, I think the number admitted was quite adequate. The first quota period was a short one. When we came to the next, where the reduction was 50 per cent., the fact that it was a three-months period made the 25 per cent. surplus considerably greater and that is used at present in order to secure advantages to those who in the past were purchasing a higher proportion of Irish made shoes than others.

That was only if they applied for 25 per cent.

As 25 per cent. of the existing quota is equivalent to about 120,000 pairs, I think it will be sufficient to enable an appreciable difference to appear in the licences given to traders who previously were put in a less favourable position.

I would like to have this point made clear. Can I reply to persons who have approached me that those persons who made returns of their Irish purchases at the end of last year, will find, in the allocation of 25 per cent., that will be taken into consideration in any further applications from them?

I can say that without any further application the 25 per cent. will be used in that particular way. The question as to whether the future quotas will be based upon the 1933 figures is an open one. We might be able to avail of some proportion of the 1934 figures as the more recent, but we get an entirely different situation when we come to consider the quota period when imports were abnormal. During the preliminary period of six weeks, before the quota period began to run, the imports represented abnormal quantities. Although subject to licences, they were not restricted to any great extent. During the quota period 40 per cent. reduction was operating. The experience of the Department at one period helps in another, and will enable us to work more smoothly. The boot and shoe orders are more difficult to operate than in other cases. The register here contains roughly 750 names; in others there are only ten or twenty importers and it is easy to deal with the peculiar position of any one of them on the basis of equity. When dealing with 750 you have only to devise a general rule and apply it ruthlessly although you realise that in some cases it might be giving undue advantage having regard to special circumstances. But the intention is to try to make good that situation by the application of 25 per cent. extra in the allocation of additional licences.

We would prefer ourselves to have a longer quota period but in the boot and shoe trade considerable developments are taking place. It is not possible to say to what extent the existing factories are going to respond to the new position, but even the existing factories, with their present equipment, could extend their production considerably and probably that will take place. But it will take three months to check up the increases of production and determine upon the quota for the following period. In that way, if we were to have a longer period at this stage, we might get ourselves into the peculiar position in which there would be a serious glut. As well as the fact, of course, that new boot and shoe factories can be brought into existence and full production in a shorter period than six months, when we come to look further ahead than three months, and estimate what the production will be, we will avail of the longer period and where it was possible to make a longer period than three months we have done so, apart from the first period. The first period should be short. People will make mistakes; they will fail to get on the register and fail to apply, but the shorter period was no disability in the second instance. I think these are the main points raised by Senator Douglas. I ask him not to take anything I am saying as offering a final opinion upon any of his suggestions, because I think they are all worth examining. The decision to base the quota on singles and not on pairs was arrived at by those responsible for drafting the legislation. It is possible we might be persuaded the next time to agree to pairs instead of singles. I agree that it would be preferable because it is the manner in which calculations are usually made in the industry.

It is not possible to issue licences for a very long time before the beginning of the quota period. Under the Act, we have, in fact, only 14 days in which to make the calculations and issue the licences. The six weeks' period between the making of the Order and the commencement of the period is allocated under the Act in various ways. There is a certain period within which the quota must be announced or any special quota that has to be made must be effected by Order. Then there is the period during which the persons who wish to import can apply to get on the register, and then there is the period in which calculations are made as to the allocation of the quota between the persons on the register, and the issue of licences. That takes up the whole of the six weeks. In fact, the six weeks are hardly enough, but it is desirable that the preliminary period should not be unduly prolonged, because, as I said before, it is a period during which misunderstandings commonly take place and in which the Minister for Industry and Commerce must have more or less complete discretion in the issue of licences in order to allow of contracts being fulfilled, goods being cleared, and so on. The period has proved to be just barely long enough to enable all the arrangements to be made without being so long as to create difficulties.

The quota for the present period is 462,500 pairs and it represents a 50 per cent. reduction effected during this period. Whether we will maintain that or not, or whether we will change it will depend on subsequent developments, but I have no information as to what they are likely to be.

Question put and declared carried.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 4) Order, 1934, made on the 18th day of September, 1934 by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

I second the motion.

This is a kindred motion and I can assure you, Sir, that I am not going to make another long speech. I just wanted to say that my criticism was not on the preliminary period at all and I do not want it to be taken as my view that it could be done any quicker. I agree that it could not, but I suggest that it might be possible for the Minister to take powers to issue the licences earlier after the quota period. I recognise that in the case of the preliminary period there could be no question of issuing it sooner; but take the case of boots and shoes. We are now in the second period, and I think it would be a good thing if machinery could be evolved by which they might come in sooner. I know that a great many people in the trade have suggested that once the thing is established, if instead of waiting until the end of, say, the three months' period, applications were made and the allotments made earlier, it would go a long way to facilitate ordering. There is another point that, I think, the Minister did not quite understand. When I asked whether it could be the basis of 1934, I really meant whether he would consider allowing firms to take an exact year—to send in their figures for an exact year, up to the end of the month preceding the Quota Order. In other words—I forget the date of the Order but I think it is September of 1934—firms had to give figures up to 31st December, 1933. I am suggesting whether it would not be fair to allow an optional return for one year up to, say, the end of August, 1934. I have had three cases —one in which I must confess I am interested myself but two others in which I am not interested—where a very considerable increase in trade took place as a result of heavy capital expenditure during that exact year. If you continue always on 1933 that firm will be for some years at a disadvantage, due to the fact that as a result of increased expenditure and increased employment, trade was increased during the exact year before the Quota Order. That was done and there was no easy way of adjusting it, but I suggest that for the future it could be adjusted without great administrative difficulty.

I will have these and the Senator's other suggestions examined.

That is all I want.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 5) Order, 1934, made on the 5th day of October, 1934 by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

I second the motion.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 6) Order, 1934, made on the 12th day of October, 1934 by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

I second the motion.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 7) Order, 1934, made on the 12th day of October, 1934 by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

I second the motion.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 8) Order, 1934, made on the 19th day of October, 1934 by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

I second the motion.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 9) Order, 1934, made on the 19th day of October, 1934 by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934.)

I second the motion.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 10) Order, 1934, made on the 19th day of October, 1934 by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

I second the motion.

In this case I should like to make a suggestion, and that is, that I think the Minister might consider whether it would not be better to have two quotas in this connection. I think it is a mistake to include motor bodies that come in in shell form as though they were complete bodies and that it would be better to divide them into two quotas. If you give a firm a licence at the present moment which is really for a shell form it can be used for complete bodies.

There is something in the suggestion the Senator has made. In fact, we have had to make enquiries as to what firms would do with their licences.

Question put and agreed to.

Senator Counihan desires that the motion in his name on the Order Paper should stand adjourned until the day we meet after to-morrow. Is the House agreeable to that?

Agreed that Senator Counihan's motion stand adjourned.

The Seanad adjourned at 7 p.m. until Thursday, 17th January, 1935, at 3 p.m.