Tuesday, 4 June 1957
Dáil Éireann Debate
Nos. 4 and 5 on the Order Paper can be discussed together. They both relate to the prohibition of the import of sugar except by the Irish Sugar Company. An Order to that effect has been made, under the Sugar Importation Act, every year for the past 20 years. The effect is to confine the importation of sugar to the Irish Sugar Company. The Order made by my predecessor last year, which is one of the Orders mentioned here, contained a modification of that provision in so far as it allowed the importation of sugar by manufacturers for export trade. At that time it was considered possible for manufacturers to import sugar at a lower price than the price at which they could obtain it here. Indeed, not very much sugar was imported and the position has now completely reversed itself again so that a manufacturer requiring sugar would be able to get it considerably cheaper here than the price at which he could import it. Consequently, that amendment of the Order is no longer required and the Order is now being remade in its original and usual form.
Mr. S. Lemass: At present, they can get sugar here at a lower price than they can get it elsewhere but the  world price, of course, fluctuates and it is impossible to say how long that position will last. At present the Irish manufacturer has an advantage in the price of sugar.
Mr. Cosgrave: The reason for making the amendment last year was that it was not possible to get supplies of sugar from home sources at prices comparable with the prices at which it could be obtained elsewhere and one firm, certainly, engaged in the export trade, got an order on the basis of getting some quantities at any rate from abroad. Can the Minister say what effect the recent increase in the price of sugar will have on the cost of jam manufactured here?
Mr. S. Lemass: If the Deputy is referring to the internal price, then, of course, the effect of the ½d. increase in the price of sugar is to increase the cost of manufacturing jam by ½d. a lb. My recollection is that sugar represents 50 per cent. of the value of jam. So, the effect would be ¼d. a lb. So far as exports are concerned, the change which was recently made had the effect, first of all, of stabilising the price at which home manufacturers can get sugar for export and, secondly, it reduced it somewhat.
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