Public Business. - Control of Imports—Quota Orders. Motions of Approval.

I move:

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 1) (Amendment No. 3) Order, 1935 made on the 20th day of December, 1935 by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

This Order and the next really belong to the same category. They deal with control of imports in connection with tyres and simply mean that the classification of tyres is removed from one category to another. With your permission, Sir, I should also like to move motion No. 8 which is interlocked with motion No. 7.

I am sure the House will agree to that course. The one explanation will suffice for both motions.

I also move:

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 19) (Amendment) Order, 1935, made on the 20th day of December, 1935 by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

Control of Imports (Quota No. 1) Order, 1934, as originally made by the Executive Council on the 31st August, 1934, regulated the importation into Saorstát Eireann of 54 specified sizes of outer covers and inner tubes of pneumatic tyres for motor cars. By Control of Imports (Quota No. 1) (Amendment) Order, 1935, made by the Executive Council on the 22nd March, 1935, inner tubes were removed from the scope of Control of Imports (Quota No. 1) Order, 1934, as from the 1st April, 1935, and the Order thenceforward applied only to outer covers of pneumatic tyres for motor cars. The Dunlop factory in Cork came into full production of 15 of the specified sizes of outer covers on the 1st July, 1935, and by Control of Imports (Quota No. 1) (Amendment No. 2) Order, 1935, made by the Executive Council on the 18th June, 1935, those 15 sizes were removed from the scope of quota No. 1 Order, 1934. and were made the subject of a new quota Order, viz.: Control of Imports (Quota No. 19) Order, 1935, made by the Executive Council on the 18th June, 1935. Quotas which were little more than nominal were appointed in respect of the last mentioned Order so that the whole of the Free State market was available to the Dunlop Company in those sizes.

The Dunlop Company has now come into full production of 30 additional sizes which are still subject to quota No. 1 Order, 1934, and it is not their intention at any time to produce outer covers of the remaining nine sizes which are expressed in metric measurements. These nine sizes were actually brought within the scope of quota restrictions in order to discourage the substitution of French manufactured tyres on cars of French manufacture, a tendency towards which had been manifesting itself as a result of the operations of the Saorstát representatives of a firm of French tyre manufacturers. As, however, certain French cars are assembled in the Saorstát for the equipment of which quantities of tyres of those nine sizes are required, it will continue to be necessary to have an appreciable quota in respect of quota No. 1 Order, 1934. As matters stand at present, licences issued in respect of such quotas as well as being used for the importation of French tyres, could also be used for the importation of tyres of any of the other 30 sizes still subject to the Quota Order and which the Dunlop Company is now producing in full.

While anxious to facilitate the importation of French tyres to meetbona fide requirements, it was essential to prevent licences issued for that purpose from being used to any extent whatever for the importation of tyres which the Dunlop factory is manufacturing and, in order to prevent such abuse of licences, quota No. 1 Order has been still further amended by the removal from its scope of the 30 sizes which the Dunlop factory is now producing. Control of Imports (Quota No. 19) Order, 1935, has also been amended by the inclusion within its scope of those 30 sizes so that the last mentioned Order, in respect of which minimum quotas only were appointed, applies to the full range of outer covers manufactured by the Dunlop Company. This simply means that the amendment of the Order was necessary because the Dunlop Company are now in full production of the 30 sizes mentioned. The nine which are not in production are still being allowed in under licence.

Probably most Senators found it difficult to follow the Minister in the details which he furnished to the House, but as I happen to be interested in the assembling of a French car, I was able to follow him. I only rise to say now that the orders are working quite satisfactorily and that I do not think there are any grounds for criticism. I should like, however, to make one general criticism which applies to all orders, but particularly to No. 19 Order. That is that the form in which these orders are made is no doubt perfectly clear to the officials of the Department concerned, but they are not by any means perfectly clear to the public who have to deal with them. Things could be made considerably easier for the public who have to deal with such orders, if the class of goods to which the Order applies were clearly set out on the cover. It might be done by printing in detail on the cover the classes of goods to which the Order applies. If one is affected by these quota orders, and if from time to time one has to look up all the amendments, it really becomes very inconvenient under present conditions to ascertain what particular classes of goods are affected. In the case of No. 19 Order, which applies to tyres, unless one had a sufficient knowledge of the trade one could not possibly guess from reading it that it applied to tyres at all. When you see such measurements as 3.05 by 19 inches, you guess it applies to tyres, but there is nothing in the amending Order to say that it is tyres. Perhaps the Minister would convey to the Department that it would be a great convenience to the public if they would make the Order a little bit longer so as to set out the class of goods affected. If they do not wish to do that—and I think there are certain technical difficulties in the way—if they would have the classes of goods to which the Order applies clearly set out on the cover it would be a very great convenience. I have heard a number of people voice these complaints, which apply particularly to No. 19 Order.

I shall of course be very glad to bring the Senator's recommendation to the attention of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. The Minister himself would have been here to-day were it not that he is engaged with the Insurance Bill in the other House. It was impossible for him to attend in this House.

Motions put and agreed to.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 4) (Amendment No. 2) Order, 1936, made on the 28th day of January, 1936, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

Quota No. 4 Order simply deals with the restrictions on rubber boots and shoes. For administrative reasons it is considered preferable to have two separate quotas—one for the heeled shoes, and the other for other classes of shoes. This Order simply effects the change from the existing quota order.

I think the public are entitled to have a little more information on these Orders, and especially on any Order relating to boots and shoes. There is a big body of opinion in the country, both for and against these quota orders, as well as for and against tariffs and prohibitions. I am not going to go into that question. If good is likely to accrue from the making of these Orders and if that is the opinion held by the Government in regard to them, then I think we are entitled to have more information about them. It appears to me, and to many other people, that instead of good accruing from them the reverse is happening.

Take children's shoes, for example: the price of them has been doubled. In some cases the increase has been even more than that. There is a big body of opinion in the country which holds that these prohibitions are doing more harm than good, and that they are having an adverse effect on the export of our agricultural products. In the opinion of many, these exports are being prejudiced by these Orders, licences and tariffs.

Would the Minister say whether, as a result of the making of these Orders, employment has been increased, or whether, on the other hand, employment has been diminished? I may say that there is a good deal of disquiet felt in the country in regard to these Orders and at the increase in the price of various goods that has followed the making of them. Children's shoes is a case in point. In fact, there has been an increase in the price of all manufactured articles which are being so severely protected by tariffs. I do not think we should pass these Orders in a machine-like manner without getting more information about them. Can we be told that the good that was expected to follow from them has been experienced, or the reverse? It would be desirable to have information on that point for the reason that unemployment is growing day after day, while on the other hand, our export trade in agricultural products is becoming less and less.

I do not know just what to say in reply to Senator Dillon's statement. I feel that the Senator and all members of the House get plenty of opportunities for discussing the whole problem of agriculture as well as the effects of the Government's policy on agriculture and industry. I would point out, however, that this particular Order is really an amending Order dealing with existing quota Orders. I would also remind the Senator that it deals only with rubber shoes and not with shoes generally. The question of employment was mentioned by the Senator. I think anybody who has been in the vicinity of Cork, or who has heard of the Dunlop factory there and of how it is doing, will feel satisfied that considerable employment is being given there. I do not propose at the moment to go into the question as to whether we should have a full protective policy or not. That is a question that we have already discussed on many occasions.

On the question of prices, Senator Dillon seemed to have in mind the shoe industry. I am informed that in that case the price of shoes has not been increased, and that the competition in that industry is becoming extremely keen. I do not claim, however, to be an authority on that, and I do not propose to discuss it further. The Senator mentioned that unemployment was growing. That may be so. It could also happen that while that was so you had employment increasing, and increasing steadily. All these are questions that have been frequently discussed in the House, and I do not propose to go into them in any detail at the moment. I am not going to discuss all the reactions of tariffs on the agricultural industry. I do not think this is the time to do it.

As I have said, this is merely an amending quota Order dealing with rubber shoes which are being made in this country and which, formerly, were not made here. The amending Order is a purely technical one. It may be well to say that we will have these quota Orders until such time as the factories are in full production. The Dunlop factory are making this particular product, and will, I imagine, soon be in full production of it. I do not think there is need for me to say any more on this quota Order. This is not the time to engage in arguments on the fundamental policy of tariffs or no tariffs.

I think that the quota system does raise the question of prices because when there is only a tariff the public can only be charged extra to the extent of the tariff. If a certain class of goods is being made here, and that you have a tariff of 60 or 100 per cent., then the greatest extra sum that the public can be called upon to pay is the amount of the tariff. But if, in addition to the tariff, you have a factory which does not produce the full requirements of the country and that there is a quota Order system, then the quotas are only given for the share of the country's requirements which the factory cannot produce. But that is equivalent to raising the protection enjoyed by the factory in regard to that part of the country's requirements that can be supplied to an almost unlimited extent. Take the case of a factory which is making 50 per cent. of the country's requirements, and that only 50 per cent. are allowed to come in under quota Orders. For the 50 per cent. produced at home, the factory can charge much more than the tariff alone would allow them to charge. The tariff might be only 50 per cent., but the factory, because all its output is required to meet the country's needs, in view of the quota restriction, can charge 100 per cent. extra.

When the original quota order in regard to tyres was before the Seanad, the Minister pointed out that certain guarantees had been given by the firm of Dunlop, and said that the Government would ensure that these guarantees were fulfilled: that the monopoly given would not and could not be used by the firm to force people to pay prices that would give excessive profits. I think there are indications that, in regard to certain commodities, the quota system has allowed home producers to charge prices far in excess of the prices they would be able to charge if they were protected by tariffs alone. I understand, contrary to what the Minister for Lands has said, that higher prices are being charged by Irish manufacturers than they could charge if they were protected by tariffs only. I read in the newspapers the other day of the case of a new factory that is only two years in production. It has operated under all the disadvantages of a factory's first years in a new area, but in the case of that factory I saw it stated that it was able to pay on its ordinary shares a dividend of 25 per cent. That is a very hefty dividend, and although there is fairly ample protection given by way of a tariff it would seem at first glance at any rate to be a greater profit than could be earned merely with the advantages of a tariff. It leads one to suspect that the result of the restriction on imports, by means of the quota system, is to have the price of the home manufactures put up far beyond what was contemplated by the tariff.

I think it can be fairly asked of the Government—perhaps it does not arise in the case of these particular shoes — that consideration should be given to the question as to whether further steps cannot be taken to ensure that in no class of goods is the quota system availed of by home producers to put up the price beyond what the Oireachtas contemplated. I assume that if, say, a tariff is fixed at 50 per cent., then it is meant that the price charged by the home manufacturers shall in no case exceed 50 per cent. above the imported article: that if the home manufacturers charge more than the tariff percentage above the imported article, then they are engaging in what the Oireachtas would regard as profiteering. Undoubtedly the quota system, if not carefully watched, enables home producers to charge far beyond the price which the Oireachtas contemplated when fixing the tariff. I would suggest, as a result of many rumours and complaints which have reached me and which I had not the means of substantiating but which probably had some basis, that the whole matter should be looked into once again by the Government. No doubt they have looked into it already, but I think it is most probable that the steps taken up to the present have not been in all cases sufficient to ensure that the public are not being exploited as a result of this quota system.

I agree largely with what Senator Blythe has said. I believe that where there is a quota in operation, and where the proportion allowed in, in comparison to the total requirements of the country, is small, the Government will have to keep a close watch on the question of price. Otherwise, the whole system will become a curse. In this particular case we are dealing with rubber shoes. I have experience of both the ordinary shoe trade and of the rubber shoe trade. This year there will be a scarcity of rubber shoes, but the price to the public will be less than they have been paying for the last couple of years. That is because there is a special duty of, I think, 1/- per shoe applied to rubber shoes. The rubber shoes that come in are comparatively low priced articles. Incidentally, I may say that I have heard that the Irish made shoe produced by Dunlops is quite satisfactory, and, in fact, very good. The price of these shoes will be higher than if they came in without duty, but the price will be lower than for those which have to be imported when this minimum duty per shoe is applied. The result is that importers in this particular case are in a difficulty because they cannot get enough of the Irish made article. I am referring only to rubber shoes. The tariff is so high that they are bothered in connection with what they will be forced to import.

As regards shoes substantially made of leather, the tariff is 30 per cent. There, the Minister is not right in saying that there has been no increase in price. Practically all the manufacturers have increased their prices this year, and traders have been notified that there will be further increases on present prices. I am not to be taken as making the charge that this is due solely to the quota order. I believe one reason is that there has been an increase in leather prices. Sole leather is now to be obtained from the Irish factories. At the same time, the retail trade does feel that the prices of shoes are getting exceedingly high and that the matter will have to be watched. The general shoe quota order has not worked particularly well because it was too general in character. Rubber shoes were, because of the Dunlop business, separated from the general Order. To have worked well, the quota order should have made a distinction between the different kinds of shoes. Only a very small quantity of men's shoes require to be imported. Almost all classes of men's shoes are made here—and made with a fair amount of competition. That only applies to a very limited class of ladies' shoes and it scarcely applies at all to children's shoes. The difficulty is that the licence covers all these classes of shoes. The temptation to the importer is to import ladies' shoes, some of which he can buy here but which he can buy more cheaply outside. Because of the larger profit, he is inclined to import these shoes rather than infants' and small size shoes. The result is that there is a serious scarcity of children's shoes and particularly infants' shoes. Probably, that will remedy itself in time. It is a pity that that Order was not split when other orders were being split and an ample quota given for smaller sizes. The quota for my own firm, received to-day, is half what it was in the previous six months. There is still need to import the lower-priced ladies' shoes and a considerable quantity of infants' and children's shoes. Though there are some factories now making children's shoes, they are not making the less decent type of shoe. That type has still to be imported from England. I rather hoped from the previous debate that the Minister would have separated the two and given an adequate licence for children's shoes.

Can the Senator say if there has been an improvement in the quality of sole leather? Is it less pervious than it used to be?

I have no interest in any shoe factory but I think I can say that, though we have not reached perfection, there has been an enormous improvement during the past two years in almost all the shoes being made here.

I do not profess to be an authority on shoes. I do know, however, that the last pair of shoes I bought cost me 4/- less than the previous pair cost me.

A lower standard of living.

With regard to quotas, tariffs and undue protection to industries, I am as much worried as other Senators and I agree that these matters require very careful watching and supervision. My view is that when protection is given to industry—particularly anything in the nature of a monopoly—it is the obvious duty of the Department concerned or of the Government to see that no element of profiteering enters into it. That is being watched. That issue is constantly discussed at the meetings of the Executive Council and, perhaps, I myself am not altogether free from responsibility for these discussions. The dividend published in connection with a shoe manufacturing concern recently struck me as phenomenal for a first or second year of working. I made inquiries and I understand that the amount of ordinary stock in that company is relatively small. The bulk of the capital is in debenture stock. I have not the figures but that was the assurance given me. When a dividend of 25 per cent. on ordinary stock was declared by a new company, I thought they were getting away with something. From the point of view of the company it seemed to be bad publicity. All these dangers are being watched and I agree that they cannot be too carefully watched. If any examples are brought to the notice of the Department, they will help the Government in securing that a proper check will be kept on these things.

With regard to tyres, as has already been explained, the price is really controlled in harmony with the world price and a definite clause in the agreement with Messrs. Dunlop operates to secure that. It has been suggested to me that if importers used their licence to buy the stuff which is made at home, there would be a greater supply of the shoes of which Senator Douglas says there is a scarcity. If the Department knows that there is a scarcity of any commodity, the quota orders can be adjusted to meet the necessities of the case. The remarks which have been made will be brought to the attention of the Minister who, I feel satisfied, is fully conscious of all the fears of Senators with regard to prices.

Question put and declared carried.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 29) Order, 1936, made on the 28th day of January, 1936, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

This Order is really consequential. It was rendered necessary by the amendment of quota Order No. 4, 1935, which excludes from the scope of that Order heeled rubber shoes. The quota Order was made on the 28th January, 1936, and the preliminary period ran from the 29th January, 1936, to the 1st March, 1936. During that period, licences were issued authorising the importation of 67,578 heeled rubber shoes. The first quota period commenced on the 2nd March, 1936, and will end on the 30th June, 1936. The quota appointed for that period is 140,000 articles and licences have been issued for the importation of 107,000 articles to date.

I second the motion.

Question put and agreed to.

I propose to move motions Nos. 11, 12 and 13 together. They all deal with brush-making. I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 26) Order, 1936, made on the 28th day of January, 1936, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 27) Order, 1936, made on the 23th day of January, 1936, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 28) Order, 1936, made on the 28th day of January, 1936, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

Under these three orders, the importation of brushes was prohibited except under licence. The object of the orders was to secure that the greatest possible percentage of brushes required for the home market should, ultimately, be produced in the Saorstát. It was felt that reduction in the quantities of brushes imported was not likely to be achieved by increasing the existing duty of 50 per cent., and the only effective method of substantially restricting importation was by means of quota order. The total quantity of all classes of brushes imported in the year 1935 was 221,929 dozen, of a value of £40,000. The quotas fixed for the first quota period in respect of quota Nos. 26, 27 and 28 Orders, represent reductions of 60 per cent., 25 per cent., and 33? per cent., respectively, on the importation during the corresponding period of 1935.

I second the motions.

Motions put separately and agreed to.

I move:

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 16) (Amendment) Order, 1935, made on the 25th day of October, 1935, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

This Order deals with the product called nitro chalk, which is used in fertilisers. It was found that this product was not made in this country and import licences are required for it for use in the preparation of fertilisers. The Department of Agriculture made representations in connection with the matter.

I second the motion.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of Control of Imports (Quota No. 30) Order, 1936, made on the 28th day of February, 1936, by the Executive Council under the Control of Imports Act, 1934 (No. 12 of 1934).

The necessity for this Order arose out of the recent trade agreement concluded between this country and Great Britain, under which the Saorstát undertook to purchase at least one-third of its estimated requirements of cement for the year 1936 from Great Britain. A quota order was made on the 29th February, 1936, prohibiting the importation of cement except in accordance with the licence issued under the Control of Imports Act, 1934. The preliminary period under the Order runs from the 29th February, 1936, to the 29th March, 1936, and, up to the 18th March, 1936, licences have been issued authorising the importation of 29,759 tons of cement. The first quota period commences on the 30th March, 1936, and runs up to the 30th June, 1936. The quota appointed for that period is 118,000 tons, of which 53,000 tons is a special quota which must consist of cement manufactured in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and consigned to the importer from that country. The total quantity of cement imported into the Saorstát in the year 1935 was 335,000 tons, so that it is estimated that, in the year 1936, the Saorstát will purchase about 112,000 tons of British manufactured cement.

I second the motion.

The end of the period was the 30th March and we are now asked to say that we approve of the Order——

That was the first quota period.

Whatever is done now will not affect the first quota period. In these circumstances, the Order ought to have been before the House before the day after the fair. I am drawing attention to this because of the danger that the Government may be falling into the practice, as they did last year in respect of other orders, of coming to the House too late for any effective action to be taken by the House. If that is not legislation by Executive decree, I do not know what it is. However, touching on the Order itself and its effect, I should be very glad if the Minister could enlighten the House on the question of how the purchaser is to decide whether he shall buy continental cement or British cement. There is likely to be a difference in price, and some people may even think that there may be a difference in quality. Accordingly, I should like the House to be informed as to what machinery has been or will be set up for ensuring that one person will not have to pay a low price for cement and another person a high price. Is there some machinery for deciding how that allocation is going to be made?

So far as I understand it, the quotas will be alloted on an equitable basis and keeping in mind what was formerly the trade between the importers here and the manufacturers abroad. If this quota which must be taken is availed of, there will then be 53,000 tons available for foreign imports, and I presume, that the Department will arrange its machinery so that there may be an equitable distribution of the quotas, and compel manufacturers to take their percentage of the quota —each quota being divided on the basis of each man's previous imports. That seems to me to be the only equitable way of arranging the matter.

That means, I presume, two-thirds for Continental cement and one-third for British cement?

I am not in a position to answer that question right off. After all, it is a Departmental question, and I think that the Minister concerned should get notice of it. I am quite sure, however, that Senator Johnson will be quite satisfied with the arrangements that have been made or that will be made for the allocation of these quotas. I assume that there will be an equitable distribution on the lines I have suggested, but it is quite possible that the Senator may have some doubt in his mind. Has he any fear in his mind as to how the quotas will be allotted or has he any reason to think that there may be an inequitable distribution or that there may be any attempt to impose on anybody in connection with imports from Great Britain?

Well, some firms have been importing none but British cement and other firms have been importing none but Continental cement; and I am wondering how the new system is going to work. It is very good for the Minister to say that we shall have confidence that there will be nothing inequitable in the allocation of the quotas, but it would seem to me to be quite reasonable to let the House know what machinery is going to be used to give effect to this Order, which is not in accord with the usual type of Order. It is a variation from the usual type of Order and one might expect to be told what machinery is going to be used.

The Minister says, Senator, that he would require information from the Department in that connection, and I suggest that you should not press it at the moment.

Might I be permitted to ask the Minister, Sir, whether it is the British or the world price for cement that governs this quota?

I am afraid, Sir, that this is another question on which I cannot give information. I assume that the price will be a factor in the negotiations and that it will be kept in conformity with the best deal that can be made on the basis laid down. We are definitely committed to purchase a certain quantity of cement under the agreement, and, at the moment I am not in a position to say what guarantee will be given or what action will be taken with regard to the price. I am quite satisfied, however, that it will be fair, and if Senator Johnson will leave the question over for the moment, I shall have it examined and I can answer his question at the next meeting, if there is a question.

Very well. The Minister says that he will be prepared to give the information at the next meeting.

Could the Minister say what quantity of British cement was imported last year, and will this one-third of the whole supply amount to a big increase in the British supply?

I think, Senator, that it is obvious that it will.

I think that the amount last year was around the 20,000 ton mark, and it will now be a question of 118,000 tons as against 20,000 tons.

Will the Minister deal with this at the next meeting?

I think the Minister should be given notice.

Well, Sir, shall we leave over the consideration of this Order until we meet next?

That would hardly be fair, Senator.

But it is quite in order, is it not?

Oh, yes. It is quite in order, and you can refuse to pass the Order now, if you wish to do so.

My only idea is to postpone the matter until we have the information before us at our next meeting.

Very well. If the Senator wishes to do so, I shall be quite satisfied.

Well, then, I shall put the motion.

Before you do that, Sir, I should like to ask the Minister to let us know definitely what will be the effect of this arrangement. It may be that it is no harm at all, but it might cause considerable inconvenience.

I thought I made the position perfectly clear.

I am referring to the time which would have to elapse before this would have to be passed. I am afraid I did not make my meaning sufficiently clear.

Oh, I see the Senator's point. I think this Order need not be passed for at least six or eight months.

Very well, that is what I wanted to know.

With your permission, Sir, I propose that we postpone the passing of this Order until our next meeting, when the Minister has the information he has promised to give us.

I would move that what could be done would be to adjourn this until next Tuesday and deal with it then.

We shall not be meeting then, Senator.

Well, why not?

We can adjourn the Order, of course, if somebody makes a motion to that effect.

I move that the consideration of the Order be postponed.

Until this day week, or the adjournment date, whatever it may be?

I move that we adjourn it until next Tuesday, and that we can then discuss it.

I second that motion.

The question is that Senator Connolly's motion in connection with Control of Imports (Quota No. 30) Order stand adjourned until next Tuesday. That is a substantive motion by Senator Connolly.

Does not the House agree with this motion?

This is an amendment.

I thought that Senator Foran had moved an amendment.

This is a further amendment.

Why not put Senator Foran's amendment first, Sir?

I did not move any amendment.

I am not quite sure where we are. I think, however, that we should have a specific date for the adjournment. Senator Blythe did not mention a specific date, and Senator Connolly did mention a specific date— next Tuesday. I think it would be better to adjourn the mattersine die.

I do not think the matter is so important that we should have a division over it. I really understood that Senator Foran was not serious at the start, but perhaps he has got serious in the meantime.

Of course I should prefer that my original motion, that this matter be passed now, should be taken.

Quite. Well, then I shall put Senator Connolly's motion.

May I point out, Sir, that it is quite a serious matter for the Seanad that information concerning the working of a matter of this kind should be divulged to the House? After all, if it is not going to affect the working of the Order, surely an adjournment for a week or a fortnight of the consideration of this matter is not material.

I should imagine not, Senator.

If there is no other business for next week I respectfully submit that we should not be called for this purpose alone. If we could say when the House will be meeting we could then fix a date and, in any case, it is not unusual to have a decision to defer a motion until the following meeting.

It is very unlikely that we shall have any business before the 6th May, and I was proposing to adjournsine die to-day until, probably, the 6th May. Will Senator Connolly be satisfied to let it go until then?

I am in your hands, Sir, but I do not wish the House to say that they have not been furnished with all the information they are entitled to get. As I have pointed out, the Minister is not here, and I am not in a position to give the information at the moment.

I take it, Senator, that the Government will not be inconvenienced in any way by this?

I do not think so, Sir.

Well, then, let us adjourn it until Wednesday, 6th May.

Or earlier, if the House should meet in the meantime.

Yes, very well. We shall adjourn the consideration of the matter until the 6th May, or earlier, if the House should meet.

Agreed that the consideration of the Control of Imports (Quota No. 30) Order, 1936, should be postponed until the next meeting of the House.

The Seanad adjourned at 4.15 p.m.,sine die.