Thursday, 19 June 1941
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware of the growing difficulty of securing supplies of any sort, and, if so, why he retains in operation a series of quotas designed to restrict imports, and thus render the getting of supplies even more difficult than it already is.
Mr. MacEntee: The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The second part of the question raises issues which cannot be satisfactorily disposed of by way of Parliamentary question and answer.
Mr. Dillon: Arising out of the Minister's reply, I take it that he is not in opposition to the statement that quotas are designed to raise revenue. Seeing that this new Fianna Fáil defence for them is not available to him, can he argue with anyone, that when we find it difficult to get the wherewithal to cover our bodies and fill our stomachs the difficulties are not manifestly increased by the quota system? When the British imposed a quota system on us, have we not loudly protested? Why, then, do we impose a quota system on ourselves? Is the Minister not aware that the Prime Minister, when addressing America on the radio, protested against the quotas put on us by Great Britain, and that his colleague, the Minister for Supplies, renewed these protests? Why, then, does the Irish Minister for Industry and Commerce put quotas on himself? Is there any defence for them, or are we gone daft? I think we are.
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