Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 13 Jul 1938

Vol. 21 No. 7

Control of Imports (Quota) Orders— Motions of Approval.

I move:—

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of the Control of Imports (Quota No. 8) (Amendment) Order, 1938 (Statutory Rules and Orders, No. 175 of 1938).

This Amendment Order and the Quota Amendment Order No. 176, which follows, were both occasioned by the terms of the Trade Agreement with the Government of the United Kingdom. Paragraph 3 of Article 17 of the Trade Agreement provides that completely assembled private motor cars of a c.i.f. value of £750 or more, manufactured in the United Kingdom, should enjoy entry into this country free of quantitative restriction. In order to give effect to that part of the Trade Agreement, Quota No. 8 Order had to be amended, and it is the Amendment Order which was made for the purpose which the Seanad is now asked to confirm.

I do not know if I am in order at this point, but I have had brought to my notice a grievance as to the excessive difference in price between the same type of motor car produced in Great Britain and as assembled here. Some months ago, representation was made to the Prices Commission for an investigation into the matter. Nothing has happened. There have been some formal acknowledgments and I understand that the Prices Commission said they were too busy to do it. I wish the Minister would inquire into the matter because there is very considerable concern about the fact that a car costing under £200 in Great Britain should cost in the region of £280 or £290 here.

Circumstances here are, of course, different from those existing in Great Britain in that the market for particular types of cars may be substantially a smaller portion or a larger portion of the total market than in Great Britain. It is true that some makes of cars are being sold here at prices higher than in Great Britain, but it is also true that other makes of cars, and particularly commercial vehicles, are being sold here at lower prices than in Great Britain. Certain types of American cars also are being sold here at lower prices than the same cars are being sold in Great Britain. It is possible that there are circumstances existing in relation to the classes of cars which would justify an investigation by the Prices Commission. I do not want to suggest that these circumstances do not exist because I think it will be necessary at some stage to ask the Prices Commission to undertake such an investigation. Some time ago the Prices Commission did investigate the prices charged for bodies for commercial vehicles, and as a result of their intervention, the prices charged were reduced. I do not know whether an investigation would have similar results in the case of private cars, but I think there is something to be said for having these prices examined where there is a marked difference.

Even though there may not be any other reason to believe that the prices are excessive, I think investigation is worth while, and as soon as circumstances are such as to permit the Prices Commission undertaking the work, I would propose myself to refer to them the prices charged for certain classes of motor vehicles.

Question put and agreed to.

I move:

That Seanad Eireann hereby approves of the Control of Imports (Quota No. 34) (Amendment) Order, 1938 (Statutory Rules and Orders, No. 176 of 1938).

As I have mentioned, this motion which relates to Quota No. 34 Order also arises out of the Trade Agreement concluded with the Government of the United Kingdom. One of the provisions of that Agreement is that complete, or substantially complete, aggregates of parts for complete or substantially complete motor vehicles, motor vehicle bodies and motor vehicle chassis manufactured in the United Kingdom should not, on importation into Eire, be subject to quantitative restriction. Quota No. 34 Order relates to electric filament lamps and in order to give effect to that Article of the Trade Agreement, it has to be amended to provide that electric filament lamps which are imported as part of the normal equipment of a motor vehicle will be admitted without being subject to the restrictions of the quota order. That is the purpose for this amending Order. The only point to which reference might be made in connection with it is that it was found a practical impossibility to confine the exemption to articles manufactured in the United Kingdom as the Trade Agreement contemplated. The amendment of the Order, therefore, has been so made as to exempt from prohibition these electric filaments, no matter where manufactured.

Question put and agreed to.