SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATE (DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE). - NOTICE OF MOTION.

I move:—

That leave be given by the Dáil to introduce the following Supplementary Estimate for the service of the year ending on 31st day of March, 1927, viz., Vote No. 52 (Department of Agriculture).

The purpose of this Supplementary Estimate is to enable the Minister for Lands and Agriculture to acquire the assets of the Condensed Milk Company of Ireland and the Newmarket Dairy Company. This proposal is the first step in a scheme for putting the dairy industry in this country in a condition to meet the competition with which it is faced.

Leave granted.
Ordered: To be taken on Tuesday, 15th March.

When will this matter come up for consideration on Tuesday? Will it be the first business? It is very important that we should know that.

On Tuesday I propose to start with the Minister's Second Reading speech on the Electricity (Supply) Bill. When the Minister has concluded his speech we will take up consideration of this matter. I shall have to take the whole of the time of the Dáil to-day. My offer still holds good for Deputy Connor Hogan. If there is an hour to spare I am prepared to give it. It is not a question of taking up the Deputy's time; it is a question of not having the time to give. If I had more than an hour I would willingly give it to the Deputy.

Arising out of the introduction of the Supplementary Estimate, in view of the importance of the matter and the interest taken in it in the South, I ask the Minister to supply the Dáil with some more information than is usually given beforehand in regard to estimates. For instance, he might give us some details as to the financial arrangements which have been entered into with regard to the taking over of these creameries. That course would facilitate the discussion on the matter very considerably. Otherwise we will have only the statement of the Minister at the time, and there may be very many points of importance which we will not have time to study or to understand.

I desire to support that plea. I do not ask that the information should be given out a couple of days before the Minister makes his statement, but it is essential that we should have something to go upon apart from our recollection of what the Minister will state to the House.

If it would suit Deputies, the Minister for Lands and Agriculture could commence on Tuesday, and then we could allow the Minister for Industry and Commerce to make a statement upon his Bill.

There will be large sums of money involved, and I am sure we will have a series of figures given all through the speech by the Minister. Those matters will be very important, and will be relevant to the whole debate. The Minister can appreciate how very difficult it is for us to deal with the matter unless we have something more than what we can recollect from memory. It is a complicated estimated.

The Deputy is right when he says it is a complicated estimate and that it will take some time to consider. It will probably take more than an hour, or more than one and a half hours, to state the position. There is no alternative to adopting the usual procedure; that is, giving notice of the Supplementary Estimate now and stating the position in full, after due notice, on Tuesday. If the suggestion that I should make my statement and that afterwards the Minister for Industry and Commerce should intervene is adopted, it would give a couple of hours to Deputies to digest my figures.

Could we have a copy of the Minister's figures before us when he is making his statement?

Mr. HOGAN

I will try and have some figures prepared, but they will not tell Deputies very much unless they are accompanied by long explanations. These explanations will be given in my opening speech.

Perhaps the information could be given in the form of a White Paper similar to that furnished in regard to the financial position.

That would be quite satisfactory. We could then have a discussion afterwards.

With regard to the President's proposal as to private members' time, I am given to understand that an agreement has been more or less reached to have no sitting of the Dáil on Monday, and that when the discussion on the Vote on Account concludes there will be no debate on the Central Fund Bill. If the President agrees to abandon the proposal to sit on Monday, I am prepared to meet him by agreeing to adjourn my motion until next week.

Very well.

That means that the Deputy's motion will not be taken by agreement.

Mr. HOGAN

It will not be brought forward to-day.

No, but it will stand on the Order Paper.