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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 5 Mar 1931

Vol. 37 No. 9

Tariff on Butter. - Financial Resolution—Report.

Question again proposed: "That the Dáil agree with the Committee in the resolution."
Debate resumed on the question.

Deputy O'Connell, in announcing the decision of his Party to oppose this motion, stated that he did not wish to go into the case against it at any great length or to do more than merely indicate the effect of his Party's decision.

It was quite obvious from his remarks that he had not taken the trouble to prepare a case against the motion and he contented himself with the mere statement that he thought that the tariff on butter should not be maintained because it had proved to be a burden on the consumer. I do not think that Deputy O'Connell was fair either to the House or to his Party in not dealing at greater length with the causes which produced this considerable, and, in fact, rather sensational change in the policy of the Labour Party. As late as last November a motion was introduced by Deputy Dr. Ryan which was designed to secure, amongst other things, the complete prohibition of butter imports. That motion was supported in the Division Lobby by the Labour Party and was in fact seconded by a member of that Party, Deputy Davin.

In a qualified way.

A couple of days later, however, the Minister for Finance moved the original tariff motion in relation to butter, imposing a duty of £5 per cwt. It was not opposed by the Labour Party; in fact, on that occasion Deputy O'Connell did not think it worth while discussing it. He protested during the course of the discussion against the amount of time which was being devoted to it and he asked the Dáil to get on to the consideration of some other matter on the Agenda for that day. Again, when the Dáil was resummoned in January to adopt the motion which is now before us on Report, it was not opposed by members of the Labour Party. I think, therefore, that we are entitled to assume that between the date of the meeting of the Dáil in January and the present there has been a change in the policy of the Labour Party concerning which we would like to have more information.

Is it the negotiation you are talking about now with Cumann na nGaedheal?

Presumably the Deputy knows more about that than I do.

No, the Deputy knows more than I do.

My reason for adverting to that obvious change is that I thought that Deputy O'Connell would deal in considerable detail with the reasons which were the cause of it, but he did not think fit to do so and contented himself with the mere assertion that the tariff was proving burdensome to the consumer and with the reading of quotations from mere doctrinaire free traders, like Senator O'Hanlon, the Minister for Agriculture and the members of the Tariff Commission. When the original motion imposing the prohibitive tariff was submitted to the Dáil, it will be remembered that Deputies of the Fianna Fáil Party commented with considerable force upon the fact that no proposal was contained in the Interim Report of the Tariff Commission to prevent profiteering in butter, or to impose the same restrictions on those engaged in the butter trade as it was sought to impose upon other industries which made application for tariffs before the Tariff Commission.

When the margarine manufacturers sought a tariff they were given it only on the condition that they would not increase the price of margarine here higher than the price at which it could be bought in England. Similarly, when other industries sought protection the Commission went to great pains to get guarantees from representatives of those industries concerning the price at which their products would be marketed in the event of their application being granted. No such guarantee, however, was asked for in respect of a butter tariff and we consider that the Government were negligent in their duty in not considering that position and imposing whatever safeguards circumstances seemed to require to prevent any undue rise in price. We recognise the fact that the price of butter is a matter of very considerable importance to the average working-class family. Deputies who read the Report of the Tariff Commission will see in Paragraph 108 that the expenditure on butter at the general average price was represented by 9.63 points in an index figure of 168 or 5.73 per cent. The Tariff Commission go on to say that if the general average price for butter were to increase for four months of the year by 4d. per 1b. and all other prices reflected in the index figure were to remain constant, the 9.63 points would, taking a period of one year into consideration, become 10.47 and the index figure would increase from 168 to 168.84. In the new situation thus created the expenditure on butter would be 6.2 per cent. of the total expenditure of the average family instead of 5.73.

The Dáil decided to impose this duty of 4d. per 1b. on butter although it knew that in the particular situation now existing a rise in the price of butter would occur, and the Labour Party acquiesced in that decision of the Dáil because, presumably, at that time they were satisfied that the advantages which would accrue from a tariff would more than off-set the disadvantages of a higher price for butter. Deputy O'Connell did not deal with the price of butter at all; in fact, he did not tell the Dáil that the price at which butter is now obtainable is not higher than it was this time last year or this time in previous years. I understand also that the general price of butter in the British market has hardened considerably in recent weeks and that the tendency still appears to be upwards. No evidence of profiteering on the part of butter wholesalers has been submitted to the Dáil. It may be that such profiteering is taking place and, perhaps, the Minister for Agriculture could enlighten us on such a matter. If he has information that there is profiteering and if he has taken no action to defeat it, then he is open to censure, but pending evidence relating to that profiteering we should not suddenly reverse the previous decision and thus risk doing incalculable harm to the dairying industry.

Deputies who are familiar with the Report of the Food Prices Tribunal, and presumably Labour Deputies are because they frequently refer to it, will remember that the butter wholesalers came unscathed through that inquiry. The Tribunal reported that they could find no evidence that butter wholesalers were making an undue profit. They stated that in their opinion the retailers would be adequately repaid if they secured a profit of about 2d. per lb. Has the Minister for Agriculture or Deputy O'Connell any information that butter retailers are now securing a greater profit than 2d. per 1b? If that information is obtainable, undoubtedly there is a situation to be dealt with but, surely, we should not condemn the decision of the Dáil to impose this tariff on hearsay or vague general statements which have not been supported by evidence as yet produced.

The Dáil, in considering this new opposition to the proposal to protect the dairying industry, must ask itself for what purpose is that protection required. I do not think that the Tariff Commission made a good case for the imposition of the tariff at all. I felt, in reading the Tariff Commission's Re port, that the logical conclusion to be drawn from the Report was that the tariff should not be imposed. The whole Report bears on the face of it evidence that it was written by people opposed to the application, but forced by pressure from the Government or some other consideration to recommend the imposition of a tariff. There is a case, however, for the protection of the dairying industry, a case that is only referred to generally in the report, a case made in this House by Deputy Dr. Ryan and by Deputies from the Labour Benches last November. The position is that the world price of butter has been depressed by export subsidies in other countries. Do members of the Labour Party contend that because Australian butter is sold at a particularly low price in consequence of the export subsidy prevailing in that country, the producers of butter here should be satisfied with a similar price or, if they are unable to produce butter at that price, that we should abandon dairying altogether and satisfy our requirements by purchasing this cheap Australian butter? There is no doubt whatever that if we are prepared to allow the dairying industry to disappear from the country, we can get butter cheaper than we are getting it now, but I maintain that, in the long run, the price which we would have to pay for that cheap butter would make it altogether too dear for us.

In present conditions dairying is the basis of our agricultural system. We cannot afford to risk any violent upset in that system. Under any circumstances dairying will always be an important factor in our economic life. It was never suggested by any Deputy on these benches that action should be taken to prevent the development of that industry. On the contrary, we have always urged that it was the duty of the Government and of the Dáil to facilitate it in every way possible, and to remove any unnecessary impediments in the way of its development.

The tariff which the Dáil imposed seems to be a necessary step to that end. We recognise the fact that the tariff in the special circumstances now existing has resulted in an increase in price. Whether that increase in price would have taken place if the Government had acted earlier is a debatable point. The fact is that the Government did not impose this prohibitive duty until it was too late to ensure that there would be a supply of native butter available to meet our entire requirements until the 1931 production had commenced. Deputies recollect the circumstances under which the prohibitive duty was imposed, two days after members of the Government had spoken vehemently against and voted against a motion suggesting the imposition of such duty. It was dictated by purely political motives, but I suggest that it is most unfair to condemn the case for protection of the dairying industry upon the experience of the past two months, which cannot possibly be regarded as normal. Next winter the situation will be altogether different and, as time goes on, it is likely that we will be in a position to release ourselves altogether from the necessity of either storing summer-produced butter for winter use or importing foreign butter during the winter period. It is necessary to make a case for the motion because of the sudden change in policy of the Labour Party.

They do not count according to yourself.

Deputy Davin is right, but mind you, there is a possibility that if the Labour Party, as apparently they have now decided, take every available opportunity to snatch the few votes that cannot go to either of the other Parties then one or two of them may come back to the Dáil after the next election.

You may have to explain your existence.

I suggest to the Labour Party that the only reason they have made this change in policy is that by doing so they are able to distinguish themselves in some way from the other Parties and they may get votes from the few people who, not realising the situation, are dissatisfied because of the rise in prices. I do not think they will succeed.

Are you satisfied with that view?

I am quite satisfied that the majority of the people of the country realise that it is much more important to give employment to our people here than to be able to buy foreign products at lower prices. The same case made by Deputy O'Connell against the tariff could be made in relation to every other application for protection. If our sole purpose is to get goods at the lowest price at which they are obtainable from any country in the world, then we must resign ourselves to a continuous decline in population here and a reduction in the opportunities of employment for our people. I do not think we should. I think it is much more important for us to be able to give employment to our people, even if by doing so we cause a rise in the price of some commodities, than that we should have cheap living which the Labour Party find now so important, and concerning which only the Minister for Agriculture used to speak before. Cheap living at any price is not our policy. We do not think it should be the policy of the country. Our main aim is to provide opportunities for work for all our people, and in order to do that, it is necessary to afford the protection required by the creamery industry and similar industries in the country.

This tariff, if it has not served any other useful purpose, has served one at any rate, and that is the purpose of education. For the first time since a tariff has been introduced in the Dáil, the people of the country, the consumers, seem to realise that the effect of a tariff is to increase the price of the article tariffed. We notice that the other Parties in this House are very solicitous as to the welfare of the consumer. They have suddenly become solicitous in that regard. Naturally, we began to try and find out the reason why Deputy Lemass and other Deputies are worrying about the consumer. Deputy Lemass talked yesterday on the tariff on woollens and on ready-made clothing. The Deputy was quite glib in suggesting that a tariff of 30 per cent., or an increased cost of 6/-in the £, might be placed on ready-made clothing.

On English ready-made clothing.

On English ready-made clothing, and on Irish ready-made clothing, too.

Deputy Lemass is not the least worried about the welfare of the consumer? Why? For this reason, that in the case of butter people at once realise that the effect of a tariff is to increase its price. Consumers realise that the effect of the tariff on butter has been to increase the price to them by about 4d. per lb. In the case of boots, ready-made clothing and wearing apparel, the effect of tariffs has also been to increase the cost of these articles to the consumer. Why do not Deputy Lemass and other Deputies who seem to be particularly interested in the welfare of the consumers remind them of that fact? Because when dealing, for instance, with boots, you are dealing with an article that is not standardised. When the price of boots goes up as a result of a tariff, the public do not realise that the increase is due to the tariff simply because there are so many grades and varieties of boots. Their price is constantly fluctuating. It may happen, too, that simultaneously with the putting on of the tariff there may be a fall in the cost of their manufacture. The result is that the consumers never realise that they are paying the tariff.

If we are going to have tariffs, then we ought to face up to the question in a common sense way. We ought to be honest about it, and endeavour to bring home to the people that the effect of tariffs in general is to increase the cost of tariffed articles. As members of this House know, I have always stood out very strongly against tariffs, but I can imagine a situation arising in which the Dáil would deliberately set out to impose a tariff conscious of the fact that it is going to increase the cost of some article. You may have a case, for instance, in which the consumer is willing to bear a particular tax for the purpose of helping to build up an industry or give employment. It is quite evident, however, that there must be a definite limit as regards the imposition of tariffs, and that is where the policy of the Party opposite fails. They only point out to the people one side of the effect of tariffs. They speak of protection as if it could perform miracles, and as if it were an unfailing panacea for all the ills from which the agricultural industry suffers. Deputies know very well that is not so.

I am very glad the opportunity has presented itself for the imposition of a tariff on an agricultural product. It is the first time that such a motion as this has been brought forward in the Dáil. The fact that such a motion appears on the Order Paper gives Deputies an opportunity of airing their views on this question. It affords us an opportunity of finding out what the attitude of the public and of Deputies opposite is towards tariffs on agriculture. As I have already said, it is well known that since I entered this House I have stood generally against the imposition of tariffs. I would ask Deputy Lemass to read the first speech I made here on this question. I said that while against the imposition of tariffs because of the effect which they produce—that is increasing the cost to the consumer— they could and may in certain circumstances be imposed. I also pointed out that the effect of tariffs was to increase the cost of the tariffed article, that the conditions in the agricultural industry were such that those engaged in it could not bear a further increase in the cost of production, and that if tariffs were to be put on, then that should be done with the greatest possible care. I also had in mind the fact that tariffs could not, in my opinion, be applied effectively to agricultural commodities so as to help the industry. The opinions that I held then I hold still. I believe that tariffs cannot be applied to agriculture as a whole so as to effectively help it. As the farming community represents such a large proportion of the population they would have to pay their share of any tariffs imposed, and there would be no possibility of their getting a reasonable recompense for them. I have always held that tariffs in general would not be justified unless agriculturists were in a prosperous condition.

This particular tariff is intended to help and support the foundation upon which the whole edifice of our agricultural fabric is built. It is most important that the dairying industry should be fostered, because from it flows the production of live-stock, pigs, poultry and various items of agricultural produce. In so far as this tariff is an effort to help in that direction, I welcome it. I could even conceive conditions arising here when it might be argued with a good deal of reason that the dairying industry should be subsidised. Anyone at all who has any interest in the agricultural industry should see to it that the dairy branch of agriculture is established on a sound foundation. Our whole agricultural edifice is built upon it.

It must be realised that the protection it is proposed to give in this case is a comparatively small thing when compared to the protection given for the production of some industrial article. This tariff only gives protection to a fraction of the dairying industry and it only gives that for a fraction of the year. When compared to a tariff on an industrial product it is really only a partial effort to meet a difficult situation. I regard this tariff as experimental. There is just the reasonable possibility that good results will accrue to the industry from the operation of it, but at present we cannot be very definite about that. With regard to the prohibitory tariff that was originally imposed by the Dáil, I believe it served a very useful purpose indeed. It saved the the dairying industry from something very close to a panic and it helped the farmers.

Deputies on the opposite benches attempted to argue that the prohibitory tariff had probably helped others, wholesalers for instance, to a greater extent than farmers. Practically all the increased prices charged did go into the farmers' pockets because butter that was held in cold storage at the time was held on behalf of the farmers. It is well known that the butter the much maligned Irish Associated Creameries held was held on behalf of suppliers, and that the advantage of the increased price went back to the farmers.

In so far as the continuation of the tariff for this year is concerned, there is no doubt that it has benefited the Irish farmer, because it has secured that butter manufactured since its imposition, which ordinarily would be sold in competition with imported butter, has been sold at an increased price that is a competitive price, plus the tariff. I make no bones about the fact that butter has been sold at an increased price. Undoubtedly Irish butter is selling on the Irish market at the price of competing foreign butter, plus the price of the tariff. I make no apology for that. That was the intention of the tariff. We are aware that the consumers are paying the amount of the tariff, and we make no apology for asking them to pay the amount of a tariff which, for once, has resulted in advantage to the agricultural community. It is the first time it has happened. Agricultural interests have been paying their share of the other tariffs that have been imposed for many years. This is the first time that the ordinary consumer has been asked to pay a share towards helping one section of the agricultural industry. I think we may accept it that the tariff has resulted in bringing advantage to the agricultural community, the farmers and the producers.

The real problem we have to face is as to the future effects of this tariff. To my mind, the future effects depend on certain contingencies which we cannot exactly foresee at present. The tariff may or may not be helpful. If next summer, the tariff being on, people in the dairying industry decide to put into cold storage a quantity of butter which, added to the butter produced during the coming winter, will exceed the winter requirements of this country, then the tariff will be ineffective and the price of butter here will be the same as butter coming from outside, because we will have an exportable surplus. On that account, it seems to me that there is one possible good effect that may arise from the tariff. It will make the creameries and the butter producers realise that it is in their interests to come together, to form some kind of combination which will regulate the amount of butter that will go into cold storage, and to see that so much butter would not go into cold storage as would flood the market in the following winter and cause an exportable surplus, so that the tariff would be ineffective.

To my mind, this tariff is different from all other tariffs in this respect, that, generally speaking, other tariffs were imposed with the idea of increasing the production of some particular article. This tariff is imposed in the hope of increasing butter production. Even if it did not increase the production of butter, if it only kept the quantity from diminishing, it would have served its purpose, which is perhaps different in that respect to any other tariff which might be imposed. The real benefit to be hoped for from the imposition of this tariff is stated in the Report of the Tariff Commission, the possibility of encouraging the production of milk in winter.

When speaking yesterday Deputy O'Connell quoted a statement made in the Seanad by Senator O'Hanlon. To an extent, I must say that I am in agreement with Senator O'Hanlon's statement, that an increase in the price of milk by 1½d. a gallon is not likely to cause anybody to go in for the production of winter milk rather than summer milk. I think, however, the statement was only partially correct. It was possibly right in so far as it applied to certain dairying counties such as Limerick, Tipperary, and other places where there is a very flush supply of grass in the summer-time. It would take a very considerable increase in the winter price of milk to cause farmers in these counties to change their present system of farming and turn to winter dairying, because with the present system they have the cheapest possible raw material for the production of milk in the grass that is available.

It must be remembered that there are other counties—and it is hoped that they will come in to dairying to a much greater extent—where, because of the fall in the price of cereals and other products they are turning from the production of cereals for sale for cash to the production of milk. In these counties that can only be satisfactorily done by a certain amount of feeding, both during summer and winter. The land in these counties is not good enough to carry dairy cattle on grass alone. As a matter of fact, in certain districts, with land of that character, a certain amount of winter dairying is already going on. Deputies who are conversant with conditions in the neighbourhood of Thurles know that there is land there which is not by any means first or second-class grazing land, but which is suitable for tillage, which is tilled to a very large extent, and where a good deal of winter dairying is going on. I see no reason why an extension of winter dairying should not take place in other counties where the land is of a similar nature. If there is to be an advantage from this tariff in the way of winter dairying, the advantage will lie in these counties. It must be remembered that not only will the producers get an additional 1½d. per gallon for milk as a result of the tariff, but they will also get, very probably, a hundred extra gallons of milk, which will result from the cows calving at a different period of the year.

Will they go in for that in Tipperary?

We may have a double effect from this tariff; we may have a certain amount of butter being left in cold storage, and then put on the market at a higher price in the winter, and we may have the effect of so increasing winter production as to be able to supply the winter requirements of the people of this country. The tariff cannot be regarded as really effective until we reach the stage when the winter production of milk and butter will exceed home requirements, and when we are in a position to export a surplus. That may take a long time, but if that state of affairs is brought about by this tariff within a reasonable period, then the tariff will have justified itself. Of course, when that stage is reached the tariff will cease to be effective. Another advantage will then accrue—one at which we have been aiming for a long time. We will then be able to have an all-year round supply of butter for the foreign market.

Experts who have studied the conditions of the butter market in Britain are generally agreed that one of the main reasons why there is such a considerable difference between the price of Irish butter and Danish butter is the lack of continuity of supply. The Tariff Commission state that there are three things necessary for maintaining our market—quality, reputation, and supply. I believe we have quality. As a result of the various regulations made under the Dairy Produce Act, and proper supervision of the manufacture of butter under suitable conditions the Irish butter exported is as good in quality as any butter with which it is competing. I go so far as to say that in some cases our butter might be regarded as better. As regards reputation we have not yet acquired a reputation; it takes years to acquire it, but we are gradually getting it. Reputation must be dependent upon continuity of supply and quantity and we have not yet reached the stage of exporting in quantity or maintaining a continuity of supply. I believe that the eventual effect of the tariff may be definitely to increase the price we get for our butter in the foreign market. It is, of course, difficult to prophesy what the ultimate effect will be, but there is at any rate a temporary advantage to the dairying industry this year because of the tariff which has been applied. There is the possibility of a permanent advantage, and for that reason it is worth trying this tariff out.

Deputies here have contended that there are areas in Ireland where dairying is not carried on and where the farmers have to buy their butter and it is held that this tariff is a hardship on those farmers. I realise that is so and that those farmers have to pay their share. The districts which are not engaged in the dairying industry are, however, engaged in some other form of agriculture, which includes the rearing and feeding of cattle. In order to maintain their form of industry we must have cattle; the supply of cattle must be maintained and in so far as an improvement in the dairying industry will be brought about by this tariff the people living in the non-dairying counties will be helped.

Deputy Lemass was very solicitous about the question of price, and he wanted to know why the Report of the Food Prices Tribunal was not put into operation with regard to the increased price of butter. My reply is that the Report of the Food Prices Tribunal in regard to unnecessarily high prices or profiteering is applicable to all articles sold, and is not particularly applicable to any article to which a tariff has been applied. It could, of course, be applied to butter at any other time, but not in particular relationship to a tariff, and there is no use in holding out the sop to the consumer that if Deputy Lemass had control of a tariff he would see that the prices of foodstuffs did not go up through the operation of that tariff, as he would put the recommendations of the Food Prices Tribunal into operation. In my opinion, retail prices have not gone up excessively; they have only gone up in keeping with the increased price of butter brought about by the tariff.

That is not so.

How much does the milk supplier get?

I think this tariff should be accepted. It is one instalment of agricultural tariffs, and I believe it may be the only instalment that we will get. I am not at all confident that this is the beginning of a series of agricultural tariffs, because I do not think that tariffs can be effectively applied to many articles of agricultural produce. I believe that many of the people who have been engaged for years endeavouring to convince farmers that their economic salvation lies along the tariff road are really working, not in the interests of the farmers, but in the interests of the industrialists, who are trying to fool the farmers into the belief that all the economic ills from which the agricultural community suffer can be cured by tariffs. This tariff is educational because it is making the people think. Apart from other advantages, the educational advantage alone of this particular tariff fully justifies its imposition.

In dealing with this question I must first of all say that I will endeavour to divest myself of any prejudice which I may have against tariffs as a general principle. I agree with Deputy Heffernan when he says that the dairying industry is the key industry of this country. From dairying radiate our live-stock, our poultry and our pig industries, and if we neglect the dairying industry, if we let it drop, there is no question about the effect it will have on our agricultural exports as a whole.

I have read the Report of the Commission on this butter tariff, and I have read it, as I have said, without prejudice. I have endeavoured to find in that Report justification for a tariff in the future. I have utterly failed to get a line in that Report which justifies a future tariff. I think the House saw when this motion was first brought on that something was necessary to be done in order to get the dairying industry out of the mess which it got itself into in the last two years. I do not desire for one moment to lay the blame on any particular shoulders. I do not say that the people did not act for the best, but in my opinion one of the most obvious things that should have been done in order to assist the dairying industry, and especially our export of butter, has been overlooked by all those who up to the present in Commissions and otherwise have endeavoured to help this industry. The first claim that those seeking a tariff could make has been scouted by the Commission. There is no justification for it, and in the recommendation of the Commission they say:—"On the grounds that increased winter prices for milk are necessary to stimulate winter production and that the adoption of winter dairying will result in a net gain in national wealth, we have come to the conclusion that a tariff might be granted." That word "might" seems to be the whole outlook of the Commission. It is a very weak word, and no weaker than the case that has been made out for a tariff generally.

Our butter production is valued in this report at £12,000,000. The value of the butter dealt with by the I.A.C. in 1928 was £2,500,000. The value of the butter dealt with by the I.A.C. in 1930 was £2,000,000. In both Reports of the I.A.C. for 1928 and for 1930 we have these figures. There is a lapse of two years in the accounts. In both Reports I find a most extraordinary thing. In the Report for 1928 you will find on page 23 under the heading of "Advertising" the following:—

"During the flush period full page advertisements were inserted in four important trade papers in Great Britain. These, with continual circularising from the Head Office, have undoubtedly helped considerably to make our organisation better known in Great Britain. Of course, such advertising, though helpful, is entirely inadequate to meet the intense advertising propaganda carried on unceasingly in Great Britain by our competitors. Continental exporters, by attractive window displays, show-cards, etc., in the retail shops, keep their butters, which are almost household words, prominently before the public. Colonial shippers, both New Zealand and Australian, conduct a very clever campaign in the daily and evening papers. Much of the work done this season has not yet shown full results, but there is no doubt whatever that the beneficial results will be felt next season, and that the position of Free State creamery butter will be still further improved in consequence."

Now that is the Report for 1928, and I turn to the Report of the I.A.C. for 1930 and on the same section of that Report I find that under the heading of "Advertising," in page 19, the paragraph that was in the 1928 Report is lifted in its entirety and republished in the Report for 1930. What were these people thinking of between 1928 and 1930? They pointed out to the Dáil and the people generally the necessity for a subsidy for advertising Irish butter and then they took this thing in the actual type the same as what was printed in 1928 and republished it again in 1930? What do I want to prove from that? That the export of Irish butter has been in the lands of people who do not understand the value of advertising their products, of people who made no attempt to advertise Irish products. When they find that they have failed in that respect, instead of coming to this House and asking for a subsidy for advertising Irish goods they go and repeat in 1930 the same thing that they stated in 1928.

On a few former occasions when dealing with the export of Irish butter I introduced amendments. On one occasion I introduced an amendment to a Bill. I think it was the Fresh Meat Bill. My amendment was that a certain amount of money should be spent on advertising. On that occasion my amendment was ruled out because of its financial character, no private member having a right to introduce it. On another occasion I introduced an amendment in another Bill in the matter of advertising Irish goods and I was told that the Government had already complete power, without the need of putting anything into a Bill, to spend what they liked upon advertising Irish goods. My opinion is that the mainstay of this country is its agricultural produce. We are living by our agricultural exports.

It is one of the reproaches thrown at the Government from the Opposition Benches that we are living by the sale of agricultural produce and that we are providing England with cheap foodstuffs. England does not want cheap foodstuffs from us. England is prepared to pay the highest price for our articles if we can supply her with the highest quality. This butter question can be settled in two ways. The first of these is rigid inspection, not that I believe the present inspection is loose. I believe that the butter we are producing here is as good an article as the butter produced in any country in the world and it should be put on the market in England not as an inferior article, as it has been for years, but as the best in the world. Our butter is the very best in the world. We should demand the highest price for it, and do not make any mistake about that. If we can prove to John Bull that we are producing the best article and in the best way, our prices will be higher, instead of producing butter as we are at present without a name. We are not exporting Irish butter. Our butter is not sold as Irish butter and the people in England do not know that Irish butter is the best in the world. That is because we do not advertise the fact. This whole question resolves itself into this, that we want to make it worth the while of the Irish farmer to produce butter and the only way in which the Irish farmer can produce this Irish butter is to secure that the highest price is got for his export.

I went over a very interesting table in the Report of the Tariff Commission. It is Appendix 6. It is a summary of the yearly imports of butter into the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) from certain countries. It contains the complete return for the years from 1923 to 1930. In the year 1923 the quantity imported into Great Britain from Denmark was 1,862,000 cwts. and from the Irish Free State 492,000 cwts., and so on—we have the figures right along. These are the things to which I want to draw the attention of the House specially. The average price of Danish butter in 1923 was 181/-; Irish Free State butter, 152/-; 1924, Danish, 209/-; Irish, 178/-; 1925, Danish, 206/-; Free State, 183/-; 1926, Danish, 180/-; Free State, 155/-; 1927, Danish, 177/-; Free State, 156/-; 1928, Danish, 185/-; Free State, 162/-; 1929, Danish, 179/-; Free State, 162/-; 1930, Danish, 149/-; Free State, 126/-. That is by comparison with the Danish. If we compare it with the average price of butter for Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Russia, New Zealand, the Argentine and other countries, we find that in all cases Irish butter in England is below the average price of these countries.

These are some facts that were not before the Tariff Commission, but they are facts that the country must take note of. It is not by a tariff of 4d. in the lb. that you are going to restore Irish butter to its proper place and to encourage the Irish farmer. I can conceive a set of circumstances in which butter under tariff conditions would be dangerous for the Irish butter industry. But if we take the figures I have quoted, and assume for a moment that we had raised our standard of butter in the British market up to the Danish standard, that is to say, that we were getting as high a price for Irish butter in the market as the Danes were getting since 1923, the difference in the figures brings out a very interesting thing. We exported 492,000 cwts. of butter in 1923, and had we got the Danish price we would have received, over and above what we did receive, £713,400; in 1924, we would have got £714,550 more; in 1925, £463,450 more; in 1926, £620,000 more; in 1927, £615,000 more; in 1928, £642,000 more; in 1929, £481,000 more, and in 1930, £594,000 more. On the whole, there is an average loss, by the fact that we are not putting our butter on the market as the best in the world, of nearly three-quarters of a million in the year, which represents the difference in price of Irish and Danish butter. There is a difference in price compared with any other butter on the market.

I think this idea of cold storing Irish butter as against winter consumption at home is a very foolish one. To prove it, although the Tariff Commission have recommended the tariff more or less on the ground that we should reserve a certain amount for home consumption, they say in paragraph 14, page 10:—

The extra production in June, July and August over and above the May standard of production must, therefore, be sold at disadvantageous prices to induce purchase, and sometimes, perhaps, has to be sold to speculators whose marketing of the butter later in the season, when prices tend to rise, may have a depressing effect on the prices then obtainable for the Saorstát supplies coming on the market.

In other words, we market out butter to speculators who cold store it at certain times, and afterwards release that butter in competition with fresh Irish butter and depress the price of that fresh Irish on the English market. That is not the way that Irish butter should be marketed. We should not send out butter to speculators. We are within a short distance of the principal market. Surely if we are going to organise this matter we should have a proper Marketing Board on the other side. We should not be in the position of handing over our butter, once it gets to the North Wall, to English speculators to deal with as they like, not as Irish butter, but as butter to be dumped, knowing very well that the speculator in England is sure of his profit, and the Irishman marketing here does not know what the value of the butter is, but takes his information from the speculator who is humbugging him all the time. Until the marketing is done at the other side we cannot get a higher price. Until we advertise to the British people that our export is the best in the world, and we can stand over that by not relaxing our effort in inspecting butter here and seeing that none but the best is exported, we cannot compete successfully with our rivals. I would not object myself to pay a little more for Irish butter than for foreign butter, but it is not fair to victimise the poor people here and to make them pay a higher price when there is another way of dealing with the situation. Suppose we continued with this tariff, we must remember that one of the great obstacles to assisting industries by tariffs is this: that once you put on a tariff people will rest content with the extra price because they are protected from competition, and not alone will they be satisfied with the protection of the price, but there is no incentive to produce a better article. If this tariff remains on for four or five years, I can conceive a set of circumstances in which Irish butter would drift back to that quality which we were producing 40 years ago, when it was only used for cart grease, before the creameries were established; a set of circumstances by which, if you keep the tariff on, the quality of butter through carelessness in the manufacture would deteriorate so much that it would take as a quarter of a century, as it did in the past, to restore it to its proper place in the market.

I hold that we should take this question outside the realm of Party politics, outside the discussion of tariffs as a whole, treat it as a key industry, as the important industry on which all out other agricultural industries hinge, settle down to it, and not say, "We are content with a tariff." I do not want this tariff taken off immediately. I do not advocate it, or intend to vote against the tariff, for the reason that it has been an expedient to get them out of their difficulty. But I want the House to say that we are going to tackle this question in a different way; that we are going to set up a proper inquiry board to see what are the prospects of putting butter on the market, with the full power of the Government behind it to advertise it and to make it known all over the world. If we do that, I am perfectly certain that the Irish butter will hold first place in the English market, that there will be a rush to dairying in this country, and that you will have an increase in the number of small farms which I would like to see all over the country. Some of the larger ranches would be broken up into small farms, because dairying is really a cash industry to the small farmer, who is the backbone of the country.

The Commission stressed the question of quality, reputation and supply. I stress the question of quality in the first place. We must see that the quality of our butter is right. Then we come to No. 2, which is reputation. I cannot understand a body dealing with this question that spoke about reputation and forgot to say anything about advertising. How are we to make our reputation? Remember this. The people who buy our products in the English market and in the Irish market do not know anything about our reputation unless we tell them. We want to tell them that we are producing the best goods in the world, and it is up to us to maintain our reputation for producing the best goods in the world. The English people who buy our butter do not know anything about that, and 90 per cent. of the people in this country do not know anything about it. There are people buying Danish butter here to-day because the Danish advertise it as the best butter in the world, and these people turn down Irish butter. Attention was drawn in the Northern Parliament a few days ago to the fact that stamps used in the North of Ireland had the words on them: "Buy Danish bacon, the best in the world." And here we are and would not even let our people know that Irish bacon and Irish butter are the best in the world. I believe the Government is to blame for not providing the money to advertise Irish products, and to see that our reputation is held good before the world.

There is one other important point to which I would refer. On page 17, paragraph 29 of the Tariff Commission Report deals with "Prospects for the Saorstát Dairying Industry." When we are discussing tariffs and how to manage Irish industry and how to encourage the Irish farmer to put more money into his pocket we have this extraordinary statement of the Tariff Commission, as a result I have no doubt of evidence gleaned on this side of the water and on the other. It says:

"It cannot be too strongly emphasised that the export market is capable of absorbing a much greater quantity of freshly-made Saorstát butter of high quality than the present output, and, in fact, if double that amount were available for export in regular quantities, Saorstát butter would occupy a more favourable position."

Now from that it will be seen that if double the quantity were available we could market it. I know the argument will be put up against that of regular supplies. People are under the impression, and it is mentioned in one of those reports in a casual way, that one of the difficulties in marketing Irish butter and that the Marketing Board had to contend with was not being able to maintain a regular supply right through the twelve months of the year. There is perhaps something to be said for that. But that is not by any means the real kernel of the question. If we attempt by a tariff to encourage winter dairying in the hope of being able to maintain regular supplies to the English market for twelve months we might have the set of circumstances that I have dealt with before, where the quality of our butter has gone down. But there is no reason why we should not get a higher price in the English market for our butter supplied for the nine months we do supply if we set our faces against one thing and that is cold storage. Saorstát fresh butter can be marketed according to the statement of the Tariff Commission in double the quantity we can supply. Why not advertise the fact that our butter is not cold storage butter, but that it is the best fresh butter in the world. Let the people know that we are supplying them with the best grass-fed butter, the best thing in the world, manufactured under the best and most hygienic conditions. If we were able to tell the people that the stuff they are getting is not cold stored, but straight from the farm to the breakfast table, our people will no doubt get a price far in excess of the Danish price and in addition would be able to hold the market.

I again appeal to the House on all sides to take this matter very seriously into consideration. The butter industry is a key industry and we are all depending upon it. It is worth twelve millions of money and is feeding other industries running up to fifty millions. If we tackled this successfully I have no doubt we will not be complaining of an adverse trade balance in the future. Let us tackle this without prejudice and without Party feeling. Let us divest ourselves of all feeling except that of trying to get this key industry and kindred industries on a proper footing. If we do that outside of politics I have no doubt the country will be one of the very best circumstanced in the world. We can make it one with security behind it such that no other country can touch in the future.

The speech made by Deputy Lemass in the House on this occasion was merely a continuation of the uncalled for attacks that he has been making on the members of this poor poverty-stricken Party in the House. I have no right and therefore I am not going to claim the right to speak in this House directly for any number of farmers. But everyone associated with my family for generations in the constituency which I have the honour to represent, and which is my native constituency, has been engaged in this industry. And I shall put my own practical knowledge of farming questions against that of Deputy Lemass at any examination held by any practical farmer. I would even agree that Deputy Gorey should be the examiner and I would be prepared to put up with the result. I have done everything I possibly could by means of peaceful persuasion in my own native part of the country to help to persuade people to establish the dairying industry in that area and therefore I am not going in this House or outside it to do anything that would help to destroy that very valuable asset in this country. Doctors differ and patients die. I have a sort of idea, having heard the speech of Deputy Lemass and Deputy Heffernan, that their action by going into the Lobby together is going to preserve the dairying industry from destruction notwithstanding anything I may say on this matter. There must be something radically wrong if Deputy Lemass has converted Deputy Heffernan or if Deputy Heffernan has converted Deputy Lemass. There has been a change of feeling which I suppose arose as a result of the correspondence which we recently read in the papers.

Deputy Lemass, in the usual eloquent attack which he has been making on the members of this Party regarding the attitude they adopted in this matter, inconsistent from his point of view, has not been paying proper attention to the speeches made by the members of his own Party in this matter. I feel certain, at any rate, that he has not. Read the records of the speeches by members of the Party on the matter now under discussion. He referred to my own attitude and to the attitude which was adopted generally by members of this Party in connection with the motion moved by Deputy Dr. Ryan in this House on 20th November last. It is quite true that I seconded and supported, as far as I possibly could, with qualifications on certain matters, and they are on the records and cannot be blotted out, the demand made on that occasion. Speaking generally on the question of prohibition and the effect of tariffs on food imported into this country, I said: "I confess, unless and until we set up the price-fixing tribunal recommended by the Food Prices Commission, there is a danger of an increase in the price of the imported commodities." That attitude has been consistently upheld, and was made much clearer by Deputy O'Connell in the same debate and in subsequent debates on this question in this House. Deputy Lemass can verify it if he looks up the records, page 189, in the debates of 20th November on that particular matter. Deputy Lemass appears to think that we have changed our minds regarding the value of the prohibition motion moved in this House by the Minister in November last. We find that the prohibition motion which was introduced in this House on that occasion was quite justified by the circumstances of the time, and, as Deputy Lemass should know, if he knows anything about the farming or dairying industry, it had the effect of keeping the dairying industry alive by stabilising prices, even though prices were at an uneconomic level at that period. If he does not know that let him ask some farmer member of his Party who knows more about it than he does, and he will find it correct.

The policy of prohibition which was supported generally by all Parties in this House on that occasion was justified also, because it was proved by subsequent events, between the 20th November and the date of the introduction of this motion by the Minister on the 20th January, that there was quite a sufficient supply of butter in this country to meet the needs of the consuming population. There is no doubt about that, and, therefore, the policy of prohibition during the two months when it was in operation was justified, and we supported it; and this is one reason why we supported it at that particular period. As against that we have knowledge, and I believe the same thing is within the knowledge of any Deputies who made inquiries on the matter, that creameries within this country at the moment, and for some time past, are bringing in butter from foreign countries for supplying their customers. I asked Deputy Gorry, who knows a good deal about this matter because of his association with creameries in his own area, to say whether that is correct or not, and if it is correct, to give us fairly detailed reasons for the continuation of this tariff under such circumstances. On a recent occasion Deputy Gorry is reported to have said that he had no apology to offer for his whole-hearted advocacy of the tariff. "I do not try," he said, "to be on both sides, demanding a tariff, and at the same time calling for cheap food. Our farmers and agriculture labourers deserve some consideration."

Will Deputy Gorry tell the House, if he speaks in this debate, what consideration the labourers in this country have received as a result of the imposition of this tariff, except that they have to pay an increased price of fourpence or fivepence per lb for butter? Will he tell the House, from his own expert knowledge of this matter, what additional employment has been given as a result of the prohibition policy and the subsequent tariff of four pence per lb? Will he tell the House what increase in the price of milk has been given to the milk suppliers in the area in which he is associated with these creameries, and will he say whether he agrees with Deputy Heffernan that the increase in price of fourpence or fivepence per lb. in butter is not excessive, in view of the benefits received by those who supply milk to the creameries in this country? These are questions which will not be answered by Deputy Lemass, who apparently could not give the answers because he has not the knowledge. These are questions I invite Deputy Gorry to answer for the education and information of members who know less than he knows on this matter. Deputy Gorry says, and with that I agree to a certain extent——

I do not think the Deputy is entitled to quote Deputy Gorry, seeing that he has not spoken in this debate. That is an old rule.

I was quoting from an interview he gave to a press representative in my own constituency. I hope I am not quoting him incorrectly.

I think the Deputy should confine himself to what has been said in this House on this debate rather than take what was said outside the House. Of course, he may refer to Deputy Gorry's knowledge and ask questions.

At any rate, I have been told by people inside and outside this House that you cannot have a tariff and cheap food at the same time. Does that mean in the opinion of any Fianna Fáil speakers who come after me that they do not agree with the setting up of the price-fixing tribunal recommended by the Food Prices Commission, or does it mean that they are in favour of a tariff without any protection for the food-consuming population? These are matters on which Deputy Lemass must make clear the position of his Party inside this House and which cannot be made clear outside by anyone who does not speak on behalf of the people.

I agree with Deputy Heffernan that a subsidy may be cheaper and give far more assistance to the dairying industry, so far as the poorer part of the population is concerned, than the assistance given in this particular case by the imposition of the tariff of fourpence per pound, and that is why Deputy O'Connell thought fit, speaking on behalf of this Party, to oppose this motion, and called for further and more exhaustive inquiry to find out as a result of some sort of Commission or other body whether there are other and better methods to be adopted to make butter cheaper for the food-consuming population, and at the same time to maintain the dairying industry and put the people engaged in it on a firm financial foundation.

Deputy Lemass says that we should not make vague general statements without bringing evidence to support them. If I belonged to a Party like the Party with which Deputy Lemass is associated, and was in the habit of adopting a Sunday-to-Sunday policy, I could quite understand statements of that kind coming from somebody like himself. Everyone who has been watching the speeches which the eloquent Deputy has been making in the country knows that he is accustomed to a Sunday-to-Sunday policy or from day to day on matters associated with almost every question. There may be somebody in this Party, but I do not think I am one of them, who may be following the bad example he has set in this particular respect.

I hope that the Deputies who follow me from the Fianna Fáil Benches will answer the few pertinent questions which I have put and which are the questions on which we base our opposition to this tariff. First, the extent to which additional employment has been given through the adoption of the policy of prohibition and the imposition of a tariff of 4d. per lb. on butter, also the extent to which milk suppliers have received any increase in prices or whether the increase which they have received compares in any respect with the huge increase which the consuming section of the population have been paying for butter since prohibition was introduced.

There is one good result of this tariff. It has saved one of the principal industries in the country, the dairying industry, from destruction. Last year the farmers in my district were getting 4d. and 4¼d. a gallon for their milk. A great number of the dairy farmers of the district came to the conclusion that it would be better for them to sell their cows than to employ labour and sell their milk at 4¼d. per gallon. Take the farmer who is milking 20 cows. This tariff of 4d. a lb. on butter would mean at least £3 extra weekly to him, and surely Deputy Davin cannot complain that 5¼d. a gallon for milk is excessive. I maintain that where the dairy farmer gets £3 a week extra for his milk through the imposition of this tariff it will mean extra employment at least of one farm-hand to milk his cows. A great number of farmers, as I have said, were about selling their cows. Within the last couple of months we find dairy farmers from Limerick and Tipperary coming to my district eagerly looking for cows to add to their stocks. I think this is a step in the right direction. It is the first practical step which the Minister for Agriculture has taken since he came into office. It is the first step around the corner which he has been grouping at for the last seven or eight years. I hope he will get quickly into his stride and get a tariff on imported bacon, barley, oats and malt; also that he will bring in immediately the de-rating of agricultural holdings. If so the farmers of the country will increase their stocks; they will increase their tillage, increase their sows and give extra employment in the country.

I know what is troubling Deputy O'Connell in this respect. He is very much afraid that the consumers will pay excessive prices for butter and that there will be profiteering. I would like to see a Food Control Board to control the price of butter so that the consumers will not be asked to pay prohibitive prices. Deputy Byrne quoted to a great extent from statistics and from the report of the Butter Commission. I do not want to quote from these, but speaking as a practical farmer I can say that were it not for this 4d. a lb. tariff on butter the dairying industry in this country, which is one of our principal industries, would have ceased. The tariff has been a great encouragement to the farming community. It will enable the farmers to give better wages to the labourers and more employment, and will put them in a position to improve their holdings. I hope this tariff will be the forerunner of others which will restore the farming industry to its former state of prosperity. I must say that the Minister for Agriculture deserves credit and support for bringing such a measure as this into the Dáil.

This debate, so far at any rate, has cleared the air. We know where we stand now. I did not quite understand the attitude of the Party opposite, but Deputy Lemass has somewhat cleared it. He said that they were supporting the tariff on butter to facilitate the dairying industry and the farmers generally. Another leader of that Party, within the last few weeks, gave an opposite reason for supporting the tariff. I do not know whether he is quite as expert in agriculture as Deputy Lemass, but Deputy Derrig stated that the reason Fianna Fáil supported the tariff on butter was to get the goodwill of the farmers. In other words, they supported the tariff on butter knowing that it was going to increase the price of butter beyond what any poor person could pay, for the chief and only reason of inducing or persuading the farmer to support tariffs on industry. That was my reading of the policy of Fianna Fáil, but to-day Deputy Lemass has gone back somewhat to the lines of the resolution that was proposed on the 20th November and of which this tariff on butter was a part. My mind has also been cleared somewhat on the policy of the Labour Party. I was not quite sure until to-day that Labour was opposed to a tariff on butter. Deputy Davin in supporting the motion of the 20th November did not make that quite clear; in fact it was rather the opposite way. Neither did Deputy O'Connell make it clear in that debate that he was opposed to a tariff on butter. I do not know what has changed the policy of Labour in that respect.

Deputy Davin said they supported it originally mainly because otherwise the dairying industry would have gone to pieces. I deny totally that if this tariff of 4d. had not been put on butter the dairying industry would have gone to pieces. The dairying industry would not have gone to pieces whether or not this tariff was imposed. The measure of help that this tariff has so far given to the individual farmer of the country has been very small, so small that it could not possibly have any effect on the continuance of the industry. Those of us on this side of the House who are not very keen on the imposition of tariffs and who supported this tariff did so because we realised that it was the only possible tariff as regards agriculture that could conceivably be put into operation with any practical success. I think I and some other Deputies made that clear in the debate of the 20th November—that if there was any part of the motion that could be supported it was the tariff on butter.

A day or two after the Minister brought in the tariff we reiterated what we had previously said, namely, that we were supporting the tariff, not quite certain that it was going to be a success, but rather that it was in the nature of an experiment and that time, and time only, would prove whether it would be a success or not. I think that the time to judge its success has not yet arrived. I think that the full results of the tariff cannot possibly be judged until next winter. Speaking on the debate when the tariff was introduced, I think I said that possibly the result of the tariff would depend on the quantity of cold-stored butter in the coming summer. If there is going to be too large an amount of butter cold-stored amongst the creameries during the coming summer, I believe that the prospects of any benefit to be derived from the tariff next winter would be very small. For that reason I support what Deputy Heffernan has said, and I hope that members of the creameries and the farmers will not lose sight of the fact that it is now more than ever necessary that some organisation should be perfected for the marketing of butter if for no other reason than that there should be control of the amount of cold-stored butter from the creameries during the coming summer.

Deputy Lemass made rather a prominent point about the lack of control of prices to the consumer. I do not remember, when this House was discussing other tariffs, that Deputy Lemass, or any other leader of the Fianna Fáil Party, went out of his way to ask for any similar provision in regard to a tariff in any other industry. When the tariffs on boots and clothing were imposed there was no such demand although for the public it was much more necessary. Every member of the public, if he reads his newspaper, ought to know what the wholesale price of butter is, what the retailer pays, and what profit he makes. Everyone, however, who buys boots does not know the wholesale or manufacturers' price or what the retailer's profit is. All he knows is that on the corner of such articles there are letters such as "LI,""TI" or some other "I," but he does not know the possible ratio of profit, whether it is 10, 20, 25, or, possibly, 35 or 50 per cent. Here, however, in the one tariff imposed for the improvement of agriculture we are asked to control prices.

If this tariff is going to be a success—and I hope it rather than expect it, to be honest—I for one will not shed many tears for the consumer if the farmer is going to reap the benefit. If, however, after next winter we find that the farmer does not reap any benefit and that the consumer is considerably damaged I will back any Deputy who asks for a repeal of the tariff. I think that until we have given it a trial for a further winter, which is the only way that we can prove whether it is going to be a success, we should accept this motion. I am glad to see that the motion has the support of all parts of the House, with the exception, perhaps, of the Labour Party but, from their point of view, I do not blame them very much because their action this evening is probably more consistent than their action last November.

Does the Deputy think it fair that the Minister for Finance should get £45,000 out of the consumer for this tariff?

I am afraid I did not catch what the Deputy said. I do not think that I need delay the House any longer except to say that I am gratified that it will pass the motion and to express the hope that the creameries and other branches of the industry will make provision during the summer to see that beneficial results will accrue from this tariff.

Deputy Bennett has made a suggestion which was also made by Deputy Davin, namely, that Fianna Fáil were not very particular about the interests of the consumer. The only other tariff in the form of a food tariff that came before us was that on margarine in which there was a guarantee from the manufacturers in regard to price. There were also motions brought before the Dáil by our Party with regard to wheat, flour and bread and they contained provisions with regard to the fixation of prices.

Not in regard to the flour tariff.

The flour manufacturers in their application for a tariff definitely said that their prices would not exceed by a certain margin the price of flour in Liverpool.

Mr. Hogan (Minister):


They did. They said that definitely.

Mr. Hogan

They said that they could not give an undertaking that prices would not go up.

They said that they would go up, but not beyond a certain margin over the price in Liverpool.

Mr. Hogan

They did not fix anything definite.

I am told that 1s. 9d. a bag was the limit they put on. As well as that motion, there was a general motion brought in two or three years ago by Deputy Lemass with regard to the Tariff Commission. There was a clause in it which stated that the Tariff Commission, when making recommendations, should make recommendations also with regard to safeguarding consumers in regard to the article that was proposed to be tariffed. That motion was supported by Fianna Fáil and, so far as I remember, there was an amendment introduced by the Labour Party and when it was defeated the Labour Party opposed our motion when put as a substantive motion. That motion for the setting up of a Tariff Commission with power to make recommendations for the safeguarding of consumers was rejected.

Was that the reason it was rejected?

I do not know. At any rate it was rejected. Deputy Good asked whether it was fair that the Minister for Finance should collect £45,000 on the butter tariff at the expense of the consumer. I, at any rate, believe that such money collected by the Minister for Finance should go back for the benefit of the butter industry. Whether it should go by way of advertising, as recommended by Deputy O'Hanlon, or should go in some other way, I am not in a position to say. At any rate, the Minister for Finance should not take this opportunity of collecting revenue at the expense of the consumer under this tariff without giving that money back to the butter industry and giving that industry the benefit of it.

Why is the Deputy supporting it?

If Deputy Good will give me a few minutes I may be able to tell him.

It will need a lot of explanation.

It will not, I believe, though it may be very hard to convince some people. Deputy Bennett stated that he was quite satisfied now as to why the Fianna Fáil members were supporting the motion. If Deputy Good's intelligence was even as good as that of Deputy Bennett he should also see why we are supporting it without my explaining it. Deputy Bennett also stated that he could see why the Labour Party were opposing it. We are at a disadvantage because we do not see why the Cumann na nGaedheal Party are supporting it. We have not learned yet why Cumann na nGaedheal are supporting it. Deputy Heffernan stated that it was going to give an advantage to the farmer to a certain extent. The Minister for Agriculture holds, I believe, that the farmer cannot benefit by any tariff on agricultural products, so that the members of Cumann na nGaedheal may have their reasons for supporting the tariff, but at least they have not all got the same reasons. Apart from the particular point which I have mentioned Deputy Heffernan made, I do not know what his particular reason was for supporting the tariff. He said that the tariff will never justify itself until after it ceases to be effective. That is looking a long time ahead. It will certainly be a long time until we are in the position to produce sufficient butter in winter to supply our own needs and over and above that, have enough for export. But Deputy Heffernan is prepared to support this tariff in the hope that in years to come it may justify itself by being no longer effective. He also had certain qualms because, as he said, there were certain farmers who had to buy butter and in that way farmers were paying for the tariff like everybody else. I would like to know what type of farmer in the country has to buy butter during the winter or summer. Surely the farmer who cannot produce even enough milk to produce sufficient butter to supply his family in summer and winter is not worth much sympathy.

Mr. Hogan

What about the Connemara farmers? They are of some importance.

I admit that they are very important, but I did not know that they were in that position. I was told that the small farmers were in favour of the tariff because a farmer with one cow is very often in a position of being able to sell a few gallons of milk or a few pounds of butter.

Mr. Hogan

The man with one cow cannot have butter during summer and winter.

I have seen it done.

Mr. Hogan

Summer and winter?

No. I have seen it done at times of the year.

Mr. Hogan

There is something wrong.

As a matter of fact, there are many families in the country, I am sure, who do not get the milk and the butter produced from one cow the whole year round. If there is a small farmer with a family who has only one cow he will have to deprive himself at times, even though the Minister may not admit it, of the milk and butter. He cannot give his own family the butter or milk that they would like to procure. He may have to sell it at times.

Deputy O'Hanlon spoke of another way of dealing with the question without putting a burden on the poor people. He was talking about an increase in prices. If Deputy O'Hanlon's mothod of advertising and of putting Irish butter on the British market results in raising the price of Irish butter there to the same price as Danish butter, surely the consequence of that will be that the price of Irish butter will go up at home, and the people for whom Deputy O'Hanlon spoke will have to pay an increased price in any case. I know it is going to be a very big advantage to this country if we can get as big a price in England and Scotland as the price we are getting now at home as a result of the tariff, but at any rate the poor people for whom Deputy O'Hanlon spoke will have to pay the higher price just the same. I do not believe that, as Deputy O'Hanlon suggested, we could by advertising get a better price than New Zealand or any of our other competitors for nine months of the year, and then drop out of the market for the other three months. There is no doubt that this report, in common with every other report, including the report of the tribunal which inquired into the marketing of butter, agreed that we must hold our market in Britain the whole year round. The only way we can do that for the three or four months during which we are not doing it at present is either by cold storage or winter production. Deputy O'Hanlon asked us to set our face against cold storage. Perhaps he is right; but I have been informed by a creamery manager who exports quite a large quantity of butter that cold storage is all right, and that we can hold our market in Britain if we put our butter in cold storage during the summer and send it across during the winter. I do not know whether that is right or not, but Deputy O'Hanlon says it is not. If that is wrong, the only way that we can get that price on the British market is by going in for winter dairying.

If this tariff has the effect suggested by Deputy Heffernan, that we will not only be able to supply our own needs but have butter also to export during summer and winter, it will have done a good deal. It will have solved one of our big problems on the export market, namely, to supply all the year round. I hope it will do that. I believe, at any rate, that since this tariff was introduced in November it has had a good effect in many ways. The people who are engaged in the dairying industry have become a little more hopeful. They have not continued to get rid of the dairying stock as they had been getting rid of it before the tariff was introduced. From the figures supplied to us a few weeks ago in regard to the exports and imports for the year 1930, we find that the export of milch cows for the year 1930 exceeded the figure for 1929 by 18 per cent. If the result of the tariff will be to curb that export it will do a good deal. We have not got any official figures yet for the month of January. It is a month that would probably give an indication of what the result has been, but from what I have heard I think that the tendency to export milch cows has ceased. We have been told that the actual benefits to the producers are small. As a result of inquiries which I have made from three or four creameries with which I have been able to get in touch, I have been told that the price of milk to the producer in the creamery has gone up considerably, by perhaps as much as 1½d. per gallon.

Does it not always go up in winter?

No, not necessarily. Why should it go up in winter always? If the tariff had not been there the price of butter would not have gone up nor would the price of milk have gone up either. As I said before, it is not only the suppliers to the creameries who will come under this tariff. All those who produce farmers' butter and sell milk to their neighbours or in villages must also be taken into account. The production of farmers' butter exceeds the production of creamery butter. Therefore, the people who produce it form a very important part of the population and must be considered. They may be supplying one pound or more, or ten or twenty pounds of butter a week in the local village or town. Their prices will be increased considerably under this tariff.

As has already been mentioned in this House, an unfortunate thing about this tariff was that it was pretty well known from statements made by the Minister for Agriculture and others that it was to be introduced in November. The result of these statements was that the imports of butter in November, 1930, were four or five times higher than the imports in November, 1929. To that extent, the merchants who imported the butter certainly gained more from the tariff than any individual farmer or group of farmers supplying a creamery. Despite anything that has been said here about the price of butter or milk, I believe that the price has not increased more than might have been expected. Even those who object to the rise in price may be consoled with the thought that their troubles will not last very long, because from our experience of former years the production of butter and milk before the end of March will exceed our home requirements, so that we will be forced, before the 1st April, or very soon after it, to seek an export market for that butter. Then, of course, the price of butter here will once again be fixed by the price got for the exported butter. On that account we have no delusions about this particular tariff.

We have been accused by many of putting our whole faith in tariffs. I do not believe that is true. We believe that the home market, as far as it can be protected for anything that we can produce ourselves, should be protected, but we do not believe that a tariff on butter is going to save the creamery industry. We believe this will help it to a certain extent, but beyond that we see that something else will be necessary. This is a step in the right direction, and that is all we can say for the present. Those who are against the tariff can console themselves with this thought, that if we, a big exporting country, are foolish in putting a tariff on butter, we are no more foolish than Denmark and New Zealand, which are also large exporting countries. They export much more butter than we do, and yet they have found it advisable to put on tariffs against the import of butter. Even two importing countries—Germany and Canada—which import a good deal of butter from Denmark and New Zealand, have tariffs on butter. These countries were, up to recently, considered to be importing countries.

On the question as to an increase in the cost of living, it is mentioned in the Report of the Tariff Commission that the cost of living will be slightly increased as a result of the imposition of this tariff. Deputy Davin asked: What increase has been given to the agricultural labourers as a result of the increase that the farmers have got from this tariff? I do not know. In fact I do not believe that they have got anything, but it is possible that they have been retained in employment in some few cases where they might not have been retained were it not for the tariff. It is quite likely that, in some few cases, there are farmers who without this tariff would have sold out their dairy stock and gone out of business completely, but who, as a result of it, have remained in business, and consequently have retained their agricultural labourers in employment. In that way these few men at least have been retained in employment. Because of that they have been enabled to buy the necessaries of life, including butter, even though the price of it has been a little dearer as a result of the tariff.

Deputy O'Hanlon raised the question about advertising. He raised that question before. Attention was drawn to the Empire Marketing Board as a medium for advertising our agricultural produce on the British market. The Empire Marketing Board may be advertising Irish produce on the British market, but if they are in has to be remembered that they are just as likely to be advertising New Zealand butter, which is in competition with ours. If Deputy O'Hanlon is very keen on having Irish butter advertised on the British market or anywhere else he ought not, I suggest, to be put off with the answer that the Empire Marketing Board is looking after that part of the business for us, because the Empire Marketing Board are not a bit more partial to Irish butter than they are to New Zealand or Australian butter. Deputy O'Hanlon ought to insist that, whatever money comes into the Exchequer from this tariff be earmarked for the butter industry, That money could be spent either in advertising or in some other way with the object of getting the butter industry out of the very bad position into which it has fallen.

Deputy O'Hanlon quoted figures to show the low state of the industry here as compared with the position of the industry in other countries. He quoted our prices as compared with Denmark. This report shows that for the year 1930 we realised an average price of 23/- per cwt. less than Denmark. When you come down to the farmer, that means a difference of a penny per gallon on the milk he supplies to the creamery. A difference of a penny per gallon is a very serious matter in the case of milk supplies. As regards Australia, our prices on the British market are lower than the prices which the Australian farmer gets. But there is more than that to be considered, because the Australian producer is not content with the price that he gets on the British market. He has also to get a subsidy. Therefore, the Irish farmer is at a great disadvantage compared with exporters from Denmark or Australia. He is even at a disadvantage with the man who exports from Northern Ireland because the farmer there has the advantage of having his land de-rated. He has that advantage over the farmer in the Free State. No matter how we look at this question I think we must come to the conclusion that the farmer producing butter here must get State help of some sort. He is at the disadvantage of having to compete with farmers from other countries who are getting much better prices, either directly or indirectly, than he is getting on the British market. That is why I say the Minister for Finance, instead of holding on to this money that comes into the Exchequer from this tariff, should hand it back in some way for the benefit of the butter industry.

I think it will be admitted by those who have listened to this debate, and particularly the speeches that came from the Government and the Fianna Fáil sides in support of the tariff, that it was a very unreal debate. We did not hear a single argument from either side which would convince any person that this tariff is of any assistance whatever to the farming community. The speech to which we have just listened from Deputy Ryan was the weakest speech that he ever delivered here. He did not make a single definite statement in the course of it. He believed that so and so would happen, and if such and such a thing were to happen hoped the tariff would have such and such an effect. Neither Deputy Ryan nor Deputy Bennett was able to tell us whether the farmers had benefited one penny, two pence, or three pence by the 4d. tariff. Can the Minister for Agriculture tell us?

In his opening remarks Deputy Lemass, who can usually speak for a long time, particularly on tariffs, and who is never at a loss for argument, was so weak during the twenty minutes he spoke about this tariff that he had to use part of the speech which, I presume, he had prepared for delivery on Sunday next on the policy of the Labour Party. The Deputy was surprised that Deputy O'Connell had not gone into our reasons for opposing the tariff at greater length last night. The fact is that Deputy O'Connell spoke for twenty-two minutes last night, and spoke all the time to the motion. Deputy Lemass spoke for twenty minutes, ten of which were devoted to the Labour Party. I have no doubt that if Deputy Lemass believed in this tariff he could easily have spoken for one hour and twenty-five minutes, as he did on the proposed tariff on coach bodies. The Deputy stated that the members of the Labour Party spoke for no one and that they were not speaking the minds of their constituents. I wonder was Deputy Lemass speaking the mind of his constituents in South Dublin. I wonder would he go down to part of his own constituency and stand over this tariff which has partly been the means of bringing the price of butter from 1/1 to 1/9 or 1/10 a 1b.

So far as we are concerned, if the price to the consumer is only increased by the amount of the tariff, and if we were satisfied that the tariff was going to benefit the farmers, then our attitude might be somewhat different. But we say that the price the consumer is asked to pay for the very small benefit, if any, which the farmer is reaping is too much, and he should not be asked to pay it. Several Deputies, including Deputy Ryan, seemed to confuse this tariff with the prohibition that was introduced in November. Of course, they are quite different. There was some case—I believe a good case—for the prohibition, and there was a very small increase in the price of butter to the consumer. Unquestionably the prohibition did help the farmers. That is well known. I put it to any Deputy, and to the Minister, who is probably in closer touch with the industry than anyone else, whether there is any case for this tariff to-day and whether the farmer is benefiting to any extent? I say quite frankly, coming as I do from a constituency where the dairying industry is very strong, that I do not believe it. I want to state further that the people of this country are paying 1/10 per lb. to-day for foreign butter, and in many cases for butter, Irish and foreign, mixed in the creameries and sold as Irish butter.

Mr. Hogan

Not in the creameries.

Foreign butter is being sold from creameries in this country retail to-day. I have no hesitation in saying that. We ought to bear this in mind: that this burden, which is giving very little, if any, assistance to the farming community, is hitting the very poorest class in the country. It must be realised that those who are working for small wages, those who are unemployed and who have no wages, are being affected. We should not lose sight of the fact that if the price of butter goes beyond a certain figure real damage might be done to the dairying industry, and people forced to buy margarine, which is cheaper. I want to make it clear that as far as we are concerned we are not going to vote for a tariff simply because it is a tariff. We want to take each industry on its merits. If a case is made for a tariff, and if that tariff will help industry without placing an undue burden on the consuming public, we are prepared to support it. I claim that in this case an undue burden is being placed on the consuming public, and I claim that that burden is out of all proportion to the benefit derived by the farmers.

The case was made that we supported this tariff when it was introduced, and that we are now changing our policy. When the tariff was introduced we had no information at all about it. If you like to call it support, we gave it qualified or provisional support, but it was made clear from these and from other benches that we were supporting it so that we could get an opportunity of studying the report of the Tariff Commission. As Deputy O'Connell stated here last night, and as Deputy Lemass practically admitted to-day, a weaker case was never made before the Tariff Commission. I am certain that no speech made in this House to-day in support of the tariff has improved the case put before the Tariff Commission. We cannot see that any benefit is being derived by the farming community, while we know definitely that a heavy burden is being placed on the consuming public. Deputy Bennett told us in effect that he did not want this tariff at all, and that the only reason he supported it was because the Minister for Agriculture introduced it. I am quite sure that if anyone else introduced it Deputy Bennett would get up and make a much better speech against the tariff than he made for it. The speech of my colleague, Deputy Heffernan, was much more against it than in favour of it. Certainly his heart was not in the speech. I am quite sure of that. I think the weakness of the speeches made in favour of the tariff on the Government Benches was only equalled by the weakness of those made in favour of it by the Deputies on the Fianna Fáil Benches.

I must say that I sympathise with a number of the arguments that have been put forward by the Deputies on the Labour side of the House. In supporting a tariff I believe that a certain amount of care has got to be taken to see that the consumer has not to bear an unfair burden. I have always said that. What I have objected to is that when people are arguing against tariffs they say that of necessity prices must rise with tariffs. I doubt that. I do not believe it is true. I do not believe it is true even in the case of butter, because it will not be true even in a month or two when the home market will be supplied from the home-produced butter. I admit I made the point when a prohibition or a tariff was being put on butter that where an industry is particularly well-organised, as it was in the case of the creameries, such an industry might be able to control the market in such a way as to prevent the competition that would ordinarily arise. But ordinarily I believe we are able to supply our own needs. At all events, we will be able to supply ourselves with butter in a month's time.

Mr. O'Connell

The tariff will be no use then.

Mr. de Valera

The point is that the tariff in so far as it can be effective in increasing the price can operate only in the present period. When it was introduced here my own opinion was that a method of licensing would have been better than a tariff to meet the particular situation that had arisen when our own stocks were short. At the time when prohibition was put on we had sufficient to meet our own immediate demands. We were beaten down by unfair competition from outside, and the purpose of the tariff was to prevent that unfair competition. I believe that was a wise proceeding. It resulted in a comparatively small increase in the price to the farmer during that particular period. I did not hear any complaint about the price of butter during that period. Increases in price have taken place during this period when our own stocks are not able to meet the demand. But that is a mere transition period of a month or so now.

In supporting this tariff for a month or so, my own opinion is that we are encouraging the stocking, if necessary, of our own supplies to carry us over the portion of the winter period, and I hope we are doing something better than that—doing something to encourage the people to consider the whole question of winter dairying. For these two reasons we are supporting this motion, but we have to confess that for this particular period there is a case to be made, as has been made from the Labour point of view. I do believe that some system of control ought, in cases of this kind, to be adopted. However, considering that this is a transition period, I think on the whole that the tariff is going to effect its purpose of preventing unfair competition—unfair so far as our farming community is concerned—during the greater part of the year.

The fact that it is going to do that ought to be sufficient to justify us in voting for this tariff. That is why I am voting for it, because it gives the farming industry and the dairying industry the protection it requires. This period of hardship through which we are now passing is not likely to happen again. If next year we are to anticipate the same thing, then the question whether we should not proceed to license imports of butter instead of putting on a tariff should be considered. That is, however, only a matter of speculation. I will admit it is speculative whether a similar state of things will have to be faced next year. My own view is that it will not, and in the belief that it will not we ought to support this particular tariff. At any rate, that is why I am supporting it.

I must congratulate the Minister. He has pulled the wool over the eyes of all Parties in the House. They are accepting this in the belief that it is going to raise the dairying industry from a slump to something very prosperous. I assure the Minister that this tariff is not going to do any such thing. The Minister got the House to accept prohibition in November last. Personally I thought that that was not going to do any good, but in view of the fact that so many Limerick creameries were in the position of having so much butter in cold storage, I was not going to do anything injurious to the industry in the county I represent by opposing this tariff or by exposing it. I admit that candidly. That was the reason why I accepted it. We must congratulate the Minister on having pulled the wool over the eyes of the Irish people.

The value of the butter produced and manufactured in the country is about £12,000,000; out of that about £4,000,000 is exported, and as against the latter item we import about £365,000 worth, which was the figure given by Deputy MacEntee last night. One would have thought on reading this morning's paper and going through the speeches delivered here that this tariff is responsible for saving to the country £365,000. That is not so. On the contrary, the fact of having put £365,000 worth of butter into cold storage has cost the country somewhere about £100,000. That £365,000 worth of butter was put into cold storage at the time when butter was costing 140/- per cwt. That would mean 52,000 cwts. of butter imported. Now New Zealand butter can be bought at 95/- per cwt. Allowing 5/- per cwt. for the cost of transport and so on, there is a difference of £2 per cwt., or taking 52,000 cwts. a total difference of £104,000. That is the sum now which we would have gained had we exported our butter at 140/- per cwt. and bought back butter this winter at 95/- per cwt. There is that difference in the figures I have given you.

I give the Minister credit for being able to relieve the creameries that had butter in cold storage. These creameries speculated and put their butter into cold storage believing that the price was to go up in the winter, but the price did not go up. I do hope that the principle adopted in the prohibition and tariff on butter will not be repeated in the future. That was a very bad principle to lay down and it should not be carried on again. I say that especially in view of the fact that responsible Deputies of this House have stood up here on a very recent occasion and said that the Licensing Bill now before the Oireachtas is the price paid by the Government for the support of a very responsible body of the community in this State. That statement going to the country is a suggestion that there is a price on the Government, and that there is a price on every individual representative of the people. I think it is wrong that such statements should be made in country that has only just got its freedom. It is bad that responsible Deputies should make such a suggestion. The suggestion really means that there is a price on every individual and that every individual may be bought. In the early part of October last the Minister, speaking in Carlow, made a strong statement on tariffs, and with every word of that statement I agreed. He suggested then that the only possible tariff that would benefit the farmers would be a tariff on butter. To my mind that was an inducement to the creameries to put their butter into cold storage.

At that time they had not any butter.

Mr. Hogan

It was all in at the time.

Then they decided to keep it in cold storage. Later on, on the 20th November, there was a motion tabled by Deputy Ryan and Deputy Davin calling for tariffs on agricultural products. The Minister spoke very strongly against tariffs then, and the following morning the debate was published in the newspapers. I know that one creamery committee, after reading the report, sold £400 worth of butter. The report appeared on the morning of the day that prohibition was applied, and I know that the butter was sold by telegram to a wholesaler in the city. The wholesaler had the advantage of getting information about the coming prohibition, and he bought the butter from this creamery in the country.

The Minister's quick change, of course.

Absolutely. By selling the butter the creamery lost whatever profit might have been made after the prohibition was put on. I think that this is a bad precedent to lay down. It would be much better to make up your minds definitely as to whether you are going to have a tariff on these things or whether you are not. I know the House accepted the tariff as being the best alternative to dumping from across the water. Of course, dumping could apply to anything else just as well as butter. As between the credit of the State and the possibility of preventing dumping, I would much prefer to have the dumping forestalling the tariff than to have prohibition forestalling the dumping. Of the two I would much prefer that the tariff would have its course retarded and let the Dáil afterwards accept it if it so wished. Deputy Ryan said that he knew farmers who were inclined to dispose of their dairy cows but because of the tariff they decided to retain them.

The tariff on butter is not going to increase the price by one iota. At the moment we have one and a quarter million cows in this country. What effect will the sum of £365,000, to which I have referred, have upon that number? I calculate that it works out at 7/- a cow. Is it going to encourage the farmer to keep cows because he is going to get 7/- a cow more per year? The Tariff Commission suggests winter dairying as an alternative to cold storage. I do not see how that would be possible. The wholesale price of milk in the cities is 1/2 a gallon, and it takes 2½ gallons of milk to make a lb. of butter. You would really want to get 3/- a lb. for butter in order to make it pay. In face of that winter dairying is not going to be remunerative.

[An Leas-Cheann Comhairle took the Chair.]

The average return given by the Department for the summer months is approximately 3 gallons per cow per day. It takes great feeding to make a cow give two gallons per day in the winter. There does not seem to be as much butter-fat per gallon in the two gallons in the winter as in the 3 gallons in the summer. The butter from the grass-fed cow is very much more palatable than the butter from the stall-feds. We must take into consideration what the export of our live-stock means to this country. It comes to about £15,000,000 a year. We must also consider that the price of the cow calving in the autumn will be very much greater than the price of the cow calving in the spring; the difference would be anything up to 50 per cent. It must not be overlooked that they want fresh milk in the cities, and this demand is in strong competition with winter dairying. Cows calving will be so valuable that the man who might otherwise go in for winter dairying will not do so.

Deputy de Valera has mentioned that we have gone through a period of hardship that is not likely to occur again. I think it is not good for the country to be jumping into one tariff and then back again just as the occasion arises. I think it is much better to decide definitely whether or not we will have tariffs. I did not think there was to be any discussion on this matter. I was under the impression that we had accepted the 4d. tariff and that we would give it a trial for three or four years in order to see what advantage it would be. I may be asked what suggestion I am putting forward to help the farmers. My suggestion is that you should give the farmer more financial assistance; loosen the pursestrings of the Agricultural Credit Corporation and let the money go a bit more freely. There is no reason why we should not help the farmer as well as we helped industrialists. We have given a great deal of money under the Trade Loans Act, and I do not know at the moment what the result has been. From the report of the Agricultural Credit Corporation it would appear that they are getting a full 100 per cent. return just as they wanted to. We heard the Joint Stock Banks abused here, but I may say they are much more liberal in the giving of credit than is the Agricultural Credit Corporation. You would imagine from the speeches of the directors and the Secretary of the Agricultural Credit Corporation that all the people have to do is to write up here and get the money.

The Agricultural Credit Corporation is far removed from the subject-matter of this debate.

There is reference to it in page 12 of the Tariff Commission's Report.

The Deputy must not criticise the Agricultural Credit Corporation even on that.

I would like to suggest that the Department should supply milking machines and give credit for them. Would I be in order in discussing that matter?

The Deputy would not be in order.

Are we entitled to discuss the Tariff Commission's Report? I would like to deal with some matters that appear on page 12 of their Report. One suggestion I would like to make is that there should be a tariff on condensed milk. Am I in order in referring to that?

The Deputy must deal only with the tariff on butter.

Condensed milk comes very close to it, anyhow. We cannot have butter if we have not milk, and we cannot have the dairying industry if we have not milk.

The Deputy can have butter without having condensed milk.

It seems to me that there is a certain amount of confusion as to the reasons for the Tariff Commission's recommendation of a tariff of 4d. on butter. My understanding of their reasons was that they wanted to ensure that the farmer would get a price which would pay him for producing milk and butter and that they wanted at the same time to try a tariff of that kind as an experiment to encourage the farmer in the production of milk in the winter. That is what seems to me to be at the back of the whole recommendation. Then we have the attitude of the Labour Party towards that recommendation. We have this sort of sentiment: What has the farmer gained as a result of this imposition; what has the dairying industry gained and what is it going to gain? Other tariffs have been imposed and other tariffs were recommended by the Tariff Commission, and I have heard no question in such an unreasonably short time as to the results of such tariffs. I am surprised that the Labour Party or any Deputy should come here after a few months and ask what good results to those who produced milk or to the workers has this tariff produced. In the Report of the Tariff Commission it is stated that because we were not able to supply the foreign market with butter for a short period of the year we have to go back every year and try to establish ourselves there as if we never had a hold in that market.

Deputy O'Hanlon referred to the question of advertising our produce of telling the people of Great Britain that our creamery butter was the best in the world, that it was as good as any butter going into that country. That is fairly logical if we were in a position to keep up the supply all the year round. Suppose we do advertise and tell the English people that our butter is the best in the world, and that at a certain period of the year a customer went into a store in Great Britain for two pounds of Irish butter as a result of seeing that advertisement, and the retailer informed the consumer that there was no such butter now on the market, what kind of a position would we be in? The question of advertising is all right, provided we can keep up a continuous supply, but unless we can keep up a continuous supply there is no use in saying to the people of Great Britain that we have the best article and that it can compare favourably with the butter of any other country. I am not prepared to say that this tariff is the best way or the only way by which winter dairying can be encouraged, but I say that it is an attempt to encourage it, and until we encourage winter dairying and are in a position to keep up a continuous supply in the foreign market, it seems to me that to adopt Deputy O'Hanlon's suggestion of advertising would be, to a great extent, absurd.

On a point of explanation, might I say that I never suggested we should advertise an article we could not supply? What I wanted to point out was that by advertising our butter in England as the best in the world, we would get such a price for butter in the British market as would be the greatest possible encouragement to winter dairying. It is the question of the price of butter that influences the whole situation. If we advertised the butter when we had it and got the Danish price in summer, we could easily provide for winter dairying and keep up the supply.

In reply to that explanation, I want to say that we have not got the continuous supply at present, and we have not got the same price as the Danes. What we are trying to do here, and what the Tariff Commission had in mind, is to encourage winter dairying and to attempt to supply the home market and afterwards to keep up the supply in the foreign market during that period of the year when we altogether leave the foreign market.

There are several other questions that could be raised in reply to some of the speeches made by the Labour Party, when they inquire what results have been secured from the imposition of this tariff. We have to take into consideration the farmer supplying the creamery, the farmer manufacturing his own butter at home, and the farmer who is producing milk for a town or a village. Everybody who has any connection with the dairying industry knows that if prices were to continue at last summer's level the farmers were going to go out of dairying. The position we had to face was: were we prepared to stand by and allow that to take place? The farmer who produces butter at home, the farmer who produces to supply a town, and the farmer who sends milk to the creamery had to be considered, and the labouring classes in the towns who are depending on supplies of milk during the winter from the farmers are certainly interested and would be glad to see that these farmers were put in a position to secure a price that would keep them not alone this winter in the production of milk, but in winters to come. After all, it is not a matter of the month of January, February or March, but it is a matter of facing the position that we saw the dairying industry in for the last couple of years; the fact that there was a period during the year when the dairying industry had more or less to go out of existence and when we had to leave the foreign market. The Tariff Commission, in making the recommendation, were not very sure that as a result of the tariff we would have the tendency towards winter dairying that we would like to see, but they said that they were recommending the tariff as an inducement and in the hope that we would have increased winter dairying. It is in that spirit and in that hope that I for one am in favour of the imposition of a tariff.

Mr. O'Connell

How would it be done?

It is all very well to talk of tariffs as far as the industrial arm is concerned, but I think the proper attitude to adopt and the attitude the Fianna Fáil Party is adopting, so far as I understand it, is that if we are prepared to give to other industries other than that of agriculture the amount of support and assistance by tariffs that we have given them we must also come to the rescue of the farmers and see that they shall be able to secure for the commodities they produce a price that will pay them to keep in production. The Irish farmer has not last year been able to get a price that would induce him to stay indefinitely in production. I say the Tariff Commission were justified in coming to his rescue and ensuring in the first place that he would keep in production by giving him a reasonable price for his milk and encouraging him to go in for that which we all hope to see established, even if it took a year or two or three or four or five or ten years, namely, winter dairying in this country.

Mr. O'Connell

How will this encourage the Irish farmer?

You have not waited very long to see how it will encourage him.

What has he got at present?

I have said here that other tariffs were imposed and the result of the imposition of these tariffs was not demanded after a period of two or three months. I say it is unreasonable and unjust where there is a very vital and big industry at stake to come to this House after two or three months and ask: "What results have we got from the imposition of this tariff?" We have pointed out to the Labour Party that the farmer cannot be expected to remain in production unless he gets for his produce something that will pay him. If the farmer finds as he found last summer that the production of milk is not paying him, he will give it up gradually. I do not say that he will sell off his cows, but gradually he will go out, and if production is to be kept up the farmer should be encouraged to go in for more winter dairying. The Tariff Commission recommended this, and for that reason I support it wholeheartedly.

Like a good many others in this House I would say that of all the tariffs that have been introduced and of all the excuses put forward for introducing them no case has ever been so hollow as the case put forward for the butter tariff. I have listened with a perfectly open mind to it because it is one of the things that as a farmer one can understand. Butter is a homely product of the land on which one was brought up, and in which one is interested. There are cases for tariffs which have been argued here from statistics, and from one thing or another that the ordinary man can hardly follow. This is a concrete case of butter. It is a simple case that everyone can analyse for himself.

Deputy de Valera in his speech in advocating this absolutely left the case altogether. He said it was ridiculous—that was not the particular adjective he used but something like it—to think that tariffs must raise the price of commodities. If a tariff in this case would not raise the price of butter from the very low level at which it was to be an economic price, what is the use of the tariff? Why do we impose it on the country if it is not going to bring a satisfactory return and give the producer of butter some return for his labour? It is for that reason I say it is a wrong thing to impose this tariff on butter.

Tariffs are useless in this case because we have no control of the market in which our butter is sold and that the determining factor is fixing the price of butter. Deputy Ryan in his speech for this tariff put forward no argument whatever. I do not doubt for one moment Deputy Ryan's sincerity. But he simply gave us hypothetical cases of what might happen if this tariff was made a permanent tariff. Turning to the Government side of the House in support of this tariff we had Deputy Bennett and Deputy Heffernan. The only thing I can say about both of them is that the voice was the voice of Jacob, but the hand was the hand of Esau. They advanced no argument for the tariff whatsoever.

In reading the report of the Tariff Commission I was impressed with one thing, and that was that one of the big arguments put forward by those applying for the tariff was that it would enable a stock of butter to be kept in summer in cold storage to meet the demand in winter. They said in the report something to this effect, that after examination they were not impressed with that argument at all. Presumably the holding of it over, the cost of cold storage, interest on capital, and everything considered, ruled that out as one argument. Turning to the other side, I come to the point that Deputy Smith emphasised in his speech, namely, winter dairying. From my earliest days I have heard preached the benefits of winter dairying, but, strangely enough, I never heard any practical farmer advocating that we should have winter dairying, that we should have an abnormal production of milk for the production of butter. Anyone who knows anything about the feeding of cows in winter realises that it is entirely out of the question to think that you can have the production of milk in winter at 5d. per gallon and make a profit out of it. Cows in winter will need extra care. It is not like turning them out on grass in the summer. Cows calving in winter must be constantly housed and fed with the best. I ask any Deputy in this House how he can feed a cow as she ought to be fed in winter and produce milk at 6d. per gallon profitably, or even at 6d. per gallon. Deputy Smith used the argument, why not give it a chance? Well, the time of chance, according to Deputy de Valera, has about run out. If we are going to have any benefit from this it is at the present time and for another three winter months.

A Deputy

Next year.

I will just come to that. If there were any year in which this prohibition should have helped the farmer it was this year, because it was put on immediately. I did not receive any indication that such a thing was to happen, and those who would be our great competitors in that case got no opportunity of forestalling that legislation. This winter there was really a great opportunity for a tariff if it were going to achieve anything.

Not at all.

I am entitled to my own opinions. I listened to you expressing yours. I am giving solid reasons. If we had stocks of butter there were no opportunities for our rivals to come in and forestall us with big shipments. If there were any chance for tariffs it was this, and next year, if the tariff is on, we will not have the same opportunity at all. Any man with common sense can see that. Cold storage is a thing the Tariff Commission has ruled out. Now we come to this point: How much has the farmer benefited this winter by the tariff? I have been a supplier of milk to a creamery through the winter and I do not seem to have got any benefit worth while. We may have got one penny a gallon, but the price of butter has gone up to 1/9 and 1/10. The farmer has got one penny a gallon, Deputy Gorey says. The consumer is paying 1/9, and the increase goes where it usually goes, to the middleman. In October, the I.A.C. paid 95/-per cwt. on account and promised 5/-more, making it 100/-. The other 5/-promised has not been realised. Having reviewed these things, I think that the Dáil is less convinced than ever of the usefulness of this tariff. It is not supported by any argument. Why it is brought in I do not know, and nobody else seems to know.

I want to bring to the notice of the House a particular anomaly under this proposed financial resolution. Some of the Deputies will recollect that the week before last I put down a question on the Order Paper. Previous to that I had a letter from constituents in the County Monaghan pointing out that they were under a great disability where they live. Between twenty-five and thirty years ago a co-operative creamery was formed. The people of the County Monaghan, on one side, and some of the people of County Armagh, joined together and erected a co-operative creamery. The site of this creamery was twenty yards inside the Six-County Border. Those people have been shareholders in that and have been supplying milk for the last twenty-five years or more. Of course, there was no hindrance until the Tariff Commission brought in its Report and until the Dáil provisionally passed this Resolution imposing 4d. in the lb. import duty on butter. These people brought the milk they produced on their farms to the co-operative creamery to have it manufactured into butter. They were in the habit of bringing back a pound or two a week for the use of their household. For the information of those who are not creamery suppliers, I may say that you get a weekly card. Opposite the supply of milk is a space for the amount of pounds of milk you supply. There is a credit column for the goods you get from the creamery. No money passes. Then at the end of the month the amount of butter you get is deducted from the cheque, and they get the balance.

These people have been supplying the milk for this creamery in the ordinary way. After this was imposed, the customs authority said they were liable to 4d. per lb. duty. Immediately I got this letter, I sent it on to the Minister for Agriculture, but he had no power to vary the provision at that time. He sent it on to the Revenue Commissioners, who said that under the terms of this resolution we had passed they must collect 4d. The next thing was to put down a question, and the reply of the Minister for Finance to that question was:—

"I am aware that duty is chargeable on butter imported in the circumstances set out in the Deputy's question. There was no opposition from the parties to whom the Deputy's question refers, nor from any others interested, to the application for the imposition of a tariff on butter. I understand, nevertheless, the Tariff Commission very carefully considered this particular difficulty, but came to the conclusion that the circumstances did not justify them in making any recommendation. I may add that apart from the merits of the case there would be some difficulty in administering any provision for the exemption from duty of butter imported in the circumstances the Deputy has in mind. I understand that only a very small percentage of the milk suppliers are affected by the duty, and that there should be little difficulty in making an arrangement with a neighbouring Saorstát creamery which would enable them to obtain their butter supplies at a price in which the full burden of the import duty would not be reflected."

Now, I do not impute anything to the Minister for Finance further than to say that it is bordering on an insult to the citizens of the Saorstát to have a reply on such terms. Two creameries are affected in my own county, and we have 360 suppliers affected. In this resolution we go to great trouble to protect the northern farmer who makes butter in the northern area and brings it into the Free State on a market day, but our own people, who produce milk winter and summer, because they are bringing home the produce of the milk produced on their own farms, are charged 4d. This is a chamber of farming Deputies, and I want to call the attention of the House to this. It is a standing disgrace. I do not think they should stand for any such thing. If the Tariff Commission considered this question at all, surely it is not much of a compliment to their intelligence to say that they went out of their way to oblige the northern farmers and to penalise their own.

I appeal with all earnestness to the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Finance to alter the resolution in such a way that it will not penalise the people of our own country in this manner. There should be no difficulty whatsoever in the matter. As I already said, it is down on the card. At any time, it is open to a customs official to walk forward to a farmer who is bringing the milk himself or to the carrier, to inspect his card and compare it with the quantity of butter. There is a very strong feeling on this question. It is not playing the game if we penalise our own people. I leave it to the House and the Ministers concerned. If this is justice, then we do not know what justice is.

I did not intend to intervene in this debate and I shall not, therefore, delay the House very long. I want to call attention to some curious statements that were made during the discussion. For instance, Deputy Haslett, who has just sat down, said that the farmer is getting no benefit. Then he said, maybe he is getting 1d. a gallon more for his milk. A penny a gallon for a cow in full milk would amount to about 2/6 a week. If you can get that out of one cow by means of this tariff, it is surely a much bigger thing than what de-rating would mean.

How much would she milk in the day?

Please do not interrupt.

How many weeks in the year?

I assert that 2/6 a week per cow is a good deal more than what de-rating would mean to the average farmer. Yet I venture to say that if de-rating came up for discussion Deputy Haslett would be very sympathetic towards it, and would not make any effort to defeat it. I wonder if Deputy Nolan is quite certain of his statement that a great deal of money that was gained through the butter placed in cold storage having been sold during the prohibition period and through the consequent better price obtained for that butter, was really not gained in another sense, inasmuch as if it had been sold at the time it was cold stored it would have fetched a much higher price.

Quite so.

Deputy Nolan is sure of that. It shows curious gambling then on the part of certain creameries, because in the winter season of 1929-30 the very same thing happened as happened in last year, and if, following the experience of 1929-30, when the I.A.C. and a Warehousing Co. in Dublin lost considerable sums through having cold-stored butter in September and October, there were creameries that repeated the experiment in the following year, I do not think they deserve much pity, especially when the market was fluctuating to the extent it was last summer. Another rather curious statement was made by Deputy Morrissey. He started off by saying that a tariff was of no assistance whatever to the farming community. He went on to say that the tariff had raised the price of butter from 1/1 to 1/9 or 1/10 a lb.

Mr. O'Connell

Did the farmers get the benefit?

How on earth could a tariff raise the price from 1/1 to 1/9?

It has done it in Cork.

It is about as outlandish a statement as I have ever heard made here.

I will bring in the receipts.

It is not at all possible, much less probable.

He was talking about the prohibitive tariff.

There is another phase of this question with regard to the Labour Party. The Labour Party is constantly boasting of its national policy, and that it stands particularly for the farmer and the labourer. At the same time they assert that the tariff that has raised the price of butter from 1/1 to 1/9 has brought no benefit to the farming community. Does Deputy Davin assert that the 18,456 cows in Leix, owned by farmers who do not supply the creameries with milk, but sell much of it in the form of butter, have not brought a big benefit to a number of small farmers in his constituency?

Give it to me in figures.

Does the Deputy assert that in Offaly, where 15,000 cows are kept in similar circumstances, the small farmers have not gained very substantial benefits by the price of butter being raised?

How much have they gained?

I will only take Deputy Morrissey's figures, that the price has been raised from 1/1 to 1/9.

The profiteers have got it all.

If the price of butter is being raised anywhere, surely it has to be raised everywhere. The butter that is being brought into Ballybrophy, Mountrath, or anywhere else surely goes up in price if speculators or anybody else raise the prices elsewhere. Does Deputy Davin still assert that the small farmers are getting no benefit from it?

Tell us what it is.

How could I give you the figures for a thing like that? I doubt if Deputy Davin and Deputy Morrissey are serious in maintaining that the tariff in such circumstances has not been of great benefit to thousands of struggling farmers throughout the country. If Deputy Davin likes I will bring him to-morrow or the next day—it will not take two hours of his time—to a small farming community and let him question them on this, as to the price they get for the butter they are now selling.

What is the name of the place?

It does not look then as if the Labour Party were too solicitous for the small farmers that in their speeches they profess to be catering for. The efforts that they are making now for the first time do not show that they are so careful of the interests of the small farmers as they were a while ago. Or is there some other reason for putting forward a case against the butter tariff. I wonder what would be the position if the tariff had not been imposed, supposing the dumping that was beginning here at the time the tariff was first imposed had continued. Suppose you had butter being sold at less than 1/- here, would it be of great benefit to the labourer, the small farmer or anybody else? If you had people so crippled that they could not meet their annuities, would that have helped the towns a great deal? Is it not the case that every time the farmer is in difficulties the shopkeeper is hit and the labourer goes out of employment? It is a curious thing to find Labour economists putting forward the plea that things would be a lot better if this tariff had not been imposed. If stock had been disposed of, if farmers' difficulties had been increased, if the present produce from the 684,684 cows in the Saorstát which is not supplied to the creameries was being sold at a greatly reduced price everybody would be better off. That is a proposal which nobody can take seriously. If a better case than that cannot be made against the tariff, I do not think that the Dáil will have any great difficulty in deciding how to vote.

So far as I can see, it is rather unfortunate that, of all agricultural produce, butter should be chosen by the Minister for Agriculture as the one article on which to place a tariff. We all know that the Minister is not very keen on tariffs as such. He has stated so in unmistakable language very often. I think that before very long he will be in a position to strengthen the statement he made as regards tariffs so far as the farmers are concerned. Much play has been made by Fianna Fáil Deputies as to the attitude of the Labour Party on this motion as compared with their attitude on the motion of the Minister in November last. I want to say quite openly that if it were found necessary to introduce such a motion next winter, the Labour Party would have no hesitation in supporting it if the circumstances were the same and if the same necessity arose, but that is an entirely different situation to that with which we are confronted now.

Deputy Moore made some very peculiar statements. One particular statement which he made will, I think, be read by farmers with amazement. He talked about the price of butter now, and he asked Deputy Davin whether it would benefit the small farmers and labourers if butter were less than 1/-a lb., and he asked us to imagine the plight of the farmer if that were the case. He asked would the farmer be able to pay his rates and annuities if butter were less than 1/- a lb. Are we to assume from that that the tariff of 4d. per lb. on butter is going to take the farmer out of all his difficulties and help him to pay the rates and annuities with which he is heavily burdened? Surely Deputy Moore does not mean that seriously. I think that we are entitled to infer that that is what he means from his statement. I think we are all anxious to help the farmer and, so far as I personally am concerned, I have supported every effort to do so, here, in the county council on the question of de-rating, and elsewhere. Everyone knows that the farming industry is depressed and that it will require very careful handling to save it. While we are concerned with the farmers, we are also concerned with the very poor, who are asked to bear a burden of 4d. per lb. extra on butter. In comparison with the amount of good which the tariff will do the farmers we believe that it imposes a burden which is too heavy for these people to bear.

We have been assured by Deputy Nolan and Deputy Bennett, who are, I think, large dairy farmers, that this tariff is not a bit of use. They did not state that definitely, but one could infer from their remarks that they did not consider that it is going to be of any help, good, bad or indifferent, to the dairying industry. According to Deputy Nolan the amount of benefit that would be derived from the tariff is about 7/- per cow per year. Everyone must agree that it will require a great deal more than that to put the farmer on his feet. If I had any hesitation as to whether I should support this tariff or not the indefinite statement of Deputy Dr. Ryan would make me, without question, vote against the tariff. Those who spoke from these benches asked the people in the farming industry what benefits they derived since January from the application of this tariff. Nobody seemed to be in a position to answer. Both Deputy Dr. Ryan and Deputy Kent said that the benefit would amount to about 1d. a gallon, but our retort to that is that during this period of the year milk is always raised by a penny and even more per gallon.

I think that owing to the fact that Danish butter has increased by from 40/- to 50/- per cwt. there should be a greater increase than 1d. per gallon if this tariff is going to be of any use to the farmer. The reason that we cannot support the tariff is that we cannot see that it is going to do any good to the farmer. Deputy Moore referred to the small farmer and labourer and put up certain hypothetical cases, at least to my mind they are hypothetical. The small farmer or labourer does not benefit one iota by the tariff. The large farmer may benefit to some extent, but not to the extent that would warrant this huge burden being put on the poor in our cities and towns, and even in our rural areas. In consequence of that we do not think that the tariff is justified. So far as any one can see—it was admitted during the debate in January—the only one to benefit by the tariff is the Minister for Finance. In my opinion, and in the opinion of this Party, the money derived from that tariff should be used in some manner to subsidise the dairying industry or some other part of our agricultural industry. Nobody denies that the farmer needs help. Nobody denies that agriculture is our staple industry and must be saved. We believe, however, that the imposition of this tariff is really only tinkering with the situation, and that much more needs to be done.

We believe that the Government should urge on those who are inquiring into the question of the de-rating of agricultural land the necessity of submitting their report as soon as possible in order that they might deal with that problem as quickly as possible rather than by tinkering with the situation by imposing a tariff on butter which does farming no good and puts an intolerable burden on the poor. These are our reasons for opposing the tariff. We do not want to have confusion in the mind of any one as to what our attitude is now and what it was in November. As I have said, we would be prepared in the same circumstances and conditions to take the same action now as we took in November. We gave a qualified support to the motion when introduced by the Minister for Agriculture in January, and that can be proved by the records through the medium of Deputy O'Connell's speech. Deputy de Valera to-day said that he was not convinced altogether as to whether this tariff was effective or not. Deputy Lemass was. That certainly shows a different line of thought in that particular Party. He stated that in his opinion a licence to import a certain amount of butter would perhaps be more beneficial to the farmer. That is the line that was suggested by Deputy O'Connell in January. We are prepared to examine the question from that point of view and to give any help necessary to improve agriculture without placing an intolerable burden on anyone.

Mr. Hogan (Minister):

Everyone here doubts the effects of the tariff, and no one made that more clear than Deputies on the Fianna Fáil Benches. If that is so, they might have told us that in the course of half an hour and not have taken four or five hours to do so. That was the only contribution made to the debate to-day, that they are very doubtful about the effects of this tariff. They might have listened to me in that respect for the last few years because I always told them that that was so. They might have been content with what I told them and not tell me now what I knew already. All Deputies, except those on the Labour Benches, say that they are going to support the tariff.

Mr. Hogan

Deputies of all Parties— Fianna Fáil Deputies, some of the Independent Deputies who have spoken, Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies—all except Labour Deputies, are going to support the tariff. Very well, why waste four hours telling us that? It seems to me that the surest way to get a long debate is to introduce something of which everybody is in favour. You can be perfectly certain then that there will be a debate for four or five hours, during which everybody makes a set speech explaining something in which he does not believe. If Deputies on the opposite benches are in favour of what they describe as a very doubtful tariff, why did they oppose it when it came before the Dáil in the shape of a prohibition? What was the point of opposing it when we introduced the motion on the first occasion? We introduced this motion by the Minister for Finance, and in fact, though there was no division, Deputies on the opposite benches opposed it. Now they are in favour of it.

On a point of order, the Minister is wrong in the statement that we opposed the tariff. We welcomed it in the first instance.

Mr. Hogan

You welcomed the motion here, but still you took about three hours in criticising me for introducing it.

We did not oppose it.

Mr. Hogan

In effect you did.

The effective way is to vote against it, but we did not do that.

Mr. Hogan

You did not vote because there was no division, but you criticised it for about three hours. I put it to the House, what is the cause of all these protestations from all the benches in regard to a tariff about which everybody is doubtful? Everybody is for and against it. Deputy O'Hanlon said that the Tariff Commission was doubtful about it. They said that a tariff might be recommended. That is the position really. They were doubtful, otherwise they would put it more clearly. I do not know whether Deputies are curious as to my attitude. I am doubtful also, but I am entitled to be doubtful. I was always doubtful, and I compliment the Deputies on the Fianna Fáil Benches in coming over to me in this matter and adopting my attitude.

We got the tariff in any case.

Mr. Hogan

I would like to deal with one or two points which were raised in the course of the debate. Labour Deputies made the point that they were opposing the tariff because it would increase the cost of living and because its disadvantages to the consumer who had to pay these rather high prices would not be counterbalanced by any possible advantages to the farmer. They asked what advantage the farmer had derived since the introduction of the tariff. The farmers did get certain advantages. Listening to the discussion one would come to the conclusion that there was no winter production in butter. That is not a fact. Half the butter required in this country during the months of December, January and February is produced in Ireland. Very much more than half is produced in the month of December. About one-third or onefourth is produced in January, and very much more than three-fourths is produced in March. Take the winter months, leaving out the month of November, over half the butter required during the months of December, January and February is produced in this country. The price of butter admittedly has gone up at least 4d. per lb., so that the farmers who are producing half the total requirements of the country during these months are getting the advantage of that 4d.

Are they getting it?

Mr. Hogan

Yes, they must be, with this limitation that a very small proportion of the butter is produced by proprietary creameries, and the proprietors in that case get the advantage of part of the increase, but only of part of it. That refers only to a very small portion of the output of butter. So far as the co-operative creameries are concerned, the farmers are getting the whole of it. Therefore, the farmers are getting an increased price for half the total requirements of the country for these winter months.

What does it mean per gallon?

Mr. Hogan

I should say about 1½d. They are getting that, due, of course, to the rise in the international price of butter and because of the tariff.

Is that quite clear? The price of creamery butter, as I understand it, is 180/-. The price of Australian butter and New Zealand butter is 122/-. Adding the tariff to that, one gets a figure of 159/4. Taking the difference between that price and the price of creamery butter at 180/-, who is getting it?

Mr. Hogan

I do not know that the Deputy's figures are quite correct.

I have been given these figures by persons in the trade.

Mr. Hogan

I could not say at the present moment.

There is something there that I want explained and it is not explained.

Mr. Hogan

Perhaps the Deputy would allow me to explain it. I could not say whether the price at the moment is 170/- or 180/-. There is this to be said for Deputy Good's point, that the wholesaler has some slight profit and the retailers have also their profits, but they are very small. Whatever these profits are you can take it that the farmers are getting 4d. If there is any more profit—it cannot be very much—the retailer or the wholesaler is getting that.

The consumer has to pay more than 4d.

Mr. Hogan

I should say so, but he will pay something in any event. The retailer and the wholesaler would get a small profit even if there was no tariff. The farmer is getting at least 4d.; that is definite. He is getting that on a quantity of butter which represents half the total quantity consumed in the country. That is some benefit. Personally I do not think it is a lot, but it is some benefit. Remember also that so far as the production of home butter is concerned, there is some increase in price. In so far as the farmer is selling home butter he is getting that 4d. as well. The retailer and the wholesaler are getting some small profits, but the retail and wholesale profits in butter are not very much, not nearly as much as in other items. They would be making that profit in any event.

Not to this extent.

Mr. Hogan

That may be, but why should we object to that? Why should there be a special objection of that sort in the case of butter?

Because of the profiteering.

Mr. Hogan

The very same thing must in the nature of things apply in the case of boots.

It does apply in boots.

Mr. Hogan

That is the point I want to make clear. I want to know why this tariff should be singled out. Deputy Good is quite consistent in his objection, because he makes the same objection to other tariffs, but, as for other Deputies, why should this tariff be singled out? You have exactly the same case in boots. You have a stronger case than that in regard to boots.

A Deputy

We have not to eat them.

Mr. Hogan

We have to wear boots and the poor man has to buy boots and clothing for himself and his family just as he has to buy foodstuffs. One is as necessary as the other.

What is the position there? At no time of the year is the production of Irish boots more than one-third of the total consumption. For every month of the year two-thirds of the boots required by our consumers are imported. That has been going on notwithstanding the fact that for the last five or six years there has been a tariff of 3/- in the £ on imported boots. During all that time the home production has only been equal to about one-third of the total home consumption. The remaining two-thirds have been imported, carrying the full duty 3/- in the £. That is the position, and there can be no denying it. In the case of boots, for every month of the year and every day of every month you have these imports carrying the full tariff, with the home production also carrying the full amount of the tariff.

Is the Minister opposing the tariff on butter?

Mr. Hogan


Is the Minister opposing the tariff on boots?

Mr. Hogan

No, but I am making the point that the people who are enthusiastic about a tariff on boots, on clothing and on woollens, and would be enthusiastic for a tariff on motor cars, should be at least equally enthusiastic, if they are sincere in their desires as regards their agricultural policy, for a tariff on butter and should not in this particular case raise the argument about the consumer. During the winter months there is this parallel between the case of butter, boots and ready-made clothing. You have not sufficient produced in the country to meet the demands of the home market, with this difference that the shortage in the latter items is greater than in the case of butter, and consequently prices are increased to the full amount of the tariff. There is no denying that. What I want to draw the attention of the Labour Party to is that in the month of March our production will be practically equal to our consumption. In the month of May we will have an export surplus. In June we will have an export surplus equal to twice our production. In July we will have a big export surplus as well as in August, September, October, November and December. That export surplus will operate to prevent an increase in price or at all events will limit an increase in price. That is the big difference between this tariff and the other tariffs, but it has not been stressed at all by a number of those who have spoken in this debate.

The people who are against this tariff because it may increase prices should be out more against the other tariffs, for the reason that during eight or nine months of the year, so far as butter is concerned, you will have a big export surplus which will operate against an increase in price or will tend to limit an increase in price. I put it to Deputies that, while they may have their views as to the efficacy of this tariff, whether it is going to be of any service or not, and I have my own doubts about it, that nevertheless if their objection is that the consumer is going to be mulcted, then while that objection may be a sound one it is very much more valid in regard to the industrial tariffs that have already been imposed.

Does the Minister support the other tariffs?

Mr. Hogan

I do not want to go fully into the question of tariffs, but I would point this out to Deputy Good, that some part of the profits, some of the increase in prices due to any tariff will, of course, go to somebody other than the producer. While that is so, there is this to be said about butter, that more of the profits and more of the increase in price due to the tariff will go to the producer than would go to him in the case of a tariff on any other agricultural product. The reason for that is that the farmers of the country practically own all the raw material required for the production of butter. That is not so in the case of eggs. The eggs are not sold to a co-operative society owned by the farmer himself. They are sold to a dealer. The same is true, except to a small extent, in the case of bacon. In a great many cases the bacon is sold to a proprietary firm, but so far as butter is concerned it is produced by co-operative societies which the farmers themselves own. In that way, any increase in price or any increase in profits brought about in the case of butter by a tariff will, to a large extent, go to the producer, to a larger extent than in the case of any other tariff. So that there is that particular reason for choosing this tariff on butter.

I have already pointed out to Deputies that there are very definite and solid guarantees against any increase in the price of butter because of this tariff. Personally I do not care twopence for guarantees given by manufacturers that they will not increase prices. Except in very rare cases these guarantees are worthless, and every business man knows that. They are worthless for the reason that you cannot check them. In most cases, to do so you would have to take into account too many considerations—not alone price, but quality. The only real guarantee the consumer ever will have to prevent extravagant increases as a result of a tariff is the presence of an export surplus. That guarantee will be here the whole time in the case of butter. Deputy Davin asked me whether I was for or against the tariff. All that I am concerned to show is that so far as the consumer is concerned he is more effectually protected than he is in regard to any other tariff imposed by the Dáil.

In the summer time?

Mr. Hogan

Deputies were right in saying that the prohibition increased prices and left the consumer no protection whatever. I am not thinking of what happened over the last two or three months, but rather of the effects of a permanent tariff. The prohibition, of course, was put on without notice and at a time of shortage. It left the consumer completely, if you like, at the mercy of the producer, except to this extent, that fortunately the Department of Agriculture, during the period of the prohibition, was in a position to control prices. That was because they had control of certain stocks of butter which they kept on the market. But the Department did effectually control prices. Prices, of course, went up to a certain extent, but still they were controlled. I am thinking now of the effects of a permanent tariff, and I say that so far as this tariff is concerned there is a much stronger and a much more effective guarantee against an increase in prices than in the case of any tariff imposed up to the present.

What about the producer's side of it? At the moment the producer is getting a certain advantage. He is getting at least 4d. a lb. on a certain quantity of butter, whether it be big or small, which represents half the total consumption of the country. What will he get in future? That is the question. First of all, I take it that Deputy Lemass has dropped the foolish pretence that tariffs that do not increase prices are still useful. I take it that we have all grown up and realise that tariffs increase prices.

Does the Minister allege that all tariffs that have been imposed have increased prices?

They are no good if they do not.

Have they, in fact, done so?

Mr. Hogan

I was asked a question about margarine and tobacco. Everybody knows that there are certain considerations which apply in the case of margarine and tobacco, both of which are owned by two huge monopolies, that do not apply here and now is not the time to go into that.

I take it that we will give up the foolish pretence that tariffs are imposed for the sake of doing so, that there is an inherent good in taxing imports, and that you can give an advantage to the producer without putting up the price to the consumer. That is a silly pretence, and I am glad it has been shown up. I tried to show what the position of the consumer will be. Now come to the producer, and it is when you come to examine that side that we are all doubtful. What effect will this have on the producer? Do not mind what happened during the last two or three months. These effects were foreseen. As Deputies in all Parties admitted, its effects were from the point of view of the creamery industry good. What effect will this tariff have next summer? In my opinion practically none. There will be a big export surplus. What effect will it have next winter? As Deputy de Valera, and also Deputy O'Connell, pointed out, that will depend on how much butter there is in the country. No one can be certain what is likely to happen. Possibly what will happen will be that a certain amount of butter will be cold-stored. Possibly what might happen is that too much butter would be cold-stored, and possibly next winter there would be a surplus of butter in cold-store. If there is there would be very little increase in prices and very little advantage to the farmer.

I am not in a position to say what will happen. I can only say that there is, to my mind, one grave danger in this tariff, and that is, that an excessive amount of butter will be cold-stored. I am afraid there will be. I can only do one thing. Under the Dairy Produce Act, I propose to take extra powers to get returns from all public cold stores. Of course, we have power at present to get returns from creamery cold stores. We can take extra powers to get returns from the others for the benefit of the trade. I can publish monthly the quantity of butter in cold storage, so that every creamery manager will know what supplies are there, and have data to make up his mind whether it is good or bad business to cold-store more butter. If butter is cold-stored to such an extent that there is going to be a surplus during the winter this tariff will be no good to the farmer, and in fact, might do harm.

This was an abnormal year. There was a steep fall in prices from summer to winter. As it was abnormal people should not harp on it too much. As a rule, prices in summer and winter are about equal and, as a rule, it is good business to cold store a certain amount of butter. Business is complex, and people have to cold-store for winter use, but there would be a real danger if too much were cold-stored. If that is so, the consumer is all right but this tariff would be of no advantage to the farmer and, above all, of no real advantage to the country. No tariff is any good that does not increase production. There is absolutely no use whatever in producing the same amount of butter, holding it over and selling it in winter. If a tariff is to be of any use it must increase production. The only way is by winter dairying. Will this tariff bring about winter dairying? I do not know. That is the question. It is doubtful, to say the least of it.

There is this to be said, however, that the Tariff Commission, to my mind, took the right line. The Tariff Commission had all the evidence, all the information which the trade itself could give them, and in addition, the Commission contained some persons who have forgotten more about the butter industry and its complexities than any of us ever learned. Possibly, it is because they knew all the difficulties of winter dairying that they were not dogmatic. There is this to be said, that if winter dairying is to be encouraged it certainly could not be encouraged by any lesser tariff than 4d. A tariff of 4d. will mean—if there was no cold storage, and if the butter was sold as Deputy O'Hanlon suggested, as it was made—an increase of something like a 1¾d., or something less than 2d. per gallon in the price of milk. I doubt very much if 2d. per gallon would bring about any considerable increase in winter dairying. I doubt if 2d. per gallon will pay most farmers for the difference in the cost of production in the winter and in the summer. I am perfectly certain that anything less than 2d. would be no good.

Of course, this again is an example of the costliness of endeavouring to encourage something which the country is not specially suited for. If we decide that a type of production is to be encouraged for which the country is not specially suited, then we must make up our minds that it is going to cost a tremendous amount of money. This country is not specially suitable for winter dairying. A good deal more winter dairying could be done than is being done, but it would take at least 2d. a gallon increase in the price of milk to pay for the extra cost of producing milk in winter, if it will not take more. Nobody can say at this stage whether this tariff will bring about any increase in winter production. I do not believe it will. For the first year the temptation to cold-store will be great. I hope I am wrong. I think the Tariff Commission were right in making the experiment, and I think when they decided to tariff at all they were right to resist the temptation of imposing a tariff of, say, 3d. They were right in going the whole distance and putting on the full tariff. A tariff less than 4d. would not have any result other than to encourage cold storage. Whether 4d. will encourage winter dairying can only be said definitely after the event. In my own opinion, it is somewhat doubtful.

I make no apology for making the experiment. I make no apology to the consumer—while I sympathise with him—because in this case he is well protected, far better protected than in the case of any other tariffs introduced in this House. Above all, I make no apology whatever to the people who have been advocating tariffs indiscriminately for the last four or five years. In the past year it was taken as a matter of course that tariffs were inherently sound, that there was no reason on earth—except, of course, the double dose of original sin from which every member of the Government suffers—why tariffs should not be imposed automatically, without any examination, without taking the trouble to find out the reactions and understand their implications.

There was supposed to be no reason whatever why tariffs that are in existence should not be increased from 22 to 30 and up to 40 per cent. I heard the suggestion made earlier, as if there was no such thing as a consumer, that the tariff on boots should be increased and that the tariff on woollens should be increased. To people of that kind, who have been trying to deceive the farmers recently with regard to tariffs, who really want tariffs for themselves, and who have been trying to humbug the farmer with the idea that tariffs can be equally suitable for him. I make no apology for making this experiment.

It was suggested here also that we should couple with these tariffs some system of control. I think some Deputies from the Labour Benches talked about licences. When one speaks of licences, I suppose one means prohibition with butter being allowed in only under licence. When people speak about control they mean, I suppose, the fixing of prices. We are not going to enter into that now. Why was it not necessary to control prices when other tariffs were imposed? There was then no necessity for control. We did not hear any demand for it. Why? At that time the consumer was definitely deceived. He was effectually deceived. There was not the same agitation, and then we did not hear a word about the control of prices.

You did.

Mr. Hogan

We did not. Now when we come to the question of butter, when the consumer can see what is happening, we hear a great deal about control. Let us have it clear that when we come to agricultural produce we must not only have tariffs but control. I hope that the Deputies who are indiscriminately advocating agricultural tariffs throughout the country every Sunday will explain to their audiences that they not only want protection but control. If they do they will not have the same enthusiasm for agricultural tariffs. As far as we are concerned, we will have no control. Control means inefficiency, waste, and even corruption. The less interference there is with production in business, especially in agriculture, the better. We put on this tariff as an experiment. We are in the same state of dubiety on this matter as the Fianna Fáil Party, and I cannot put it better than that.

It is marvellous how you are both coming together.

Mr. Hogan

We propose to allow the tariff to operate; we propose to watch its operation, and we propose to learn what we can learn from its operation. We believe that the other Parties here —Fianna Fáil, Labour, and the rest— have already learned a good deal from it.

The Minister spoke about control. Would he say what effect control on butter had in 1921?

Mr. Hogan

A dreadful effect.

I want, in the first instance, to congratulate the Minister for Agriculture on his funeral oration over his dearly-beloved child, the I.A.C. In another portion of this great city to-day there has been a meeting. which I might call the wake of the I.A.C., and the Minister has dutifully delivered the funeral oration on that body here. I want to congratulate him also on the very clever manner with which he has opposed the tariff on butter. It reminds me of the action of a gentleman who, during the war years, was sentenced to a week's imprisonment. We had no jail to which we could send him, and he was handed over to my tender mercies for the few days. I sent him digging potatoes and——

Mr. Hogan

The Deputy had better tell us nothing about that.

When we went to collect the potatoes that he had dug we could not find any of them. He had covered them all up.

Mr. Hogan

The less we hear about what happened in Deputy Corry's farm——

The Minister has been forced into the position of imposing a tariff, but he is doing his best so far as he can to spoil it. That is the position the Minister occupies. I never heard anything more ridiculous than the arguments put up here to-day about a tariff on butter. We did not hear any of these arguments put up when other tariffs were introduced here. But the very moment that anything is brought in that would be of any benefit to the farming community we have an immediate uproar. I admit that Deputy Good is an authority on profiteering. I do not think there is any Deputy here who will doubt that statement. I hope when other branches will be considered here we will hear Deputy Good equally condemning profiteering.

We were told the farmers were going to have no benefit whatsoever from this tariff. It is admitted, even by Deputy Gorey, that the farmer has benefited to the extent of 1d. a gallon. What was the actual position at the time that the Minister for Agriculture was forced by public opinion throughout the country and by the sickly condition of his own dearly-beloved child in this matter of butter? I say that the condition of the I.A.C. was the principal reason why the Minister came forward with a tariff on butter. That was practically the sole reason why this tariff was imposed. The Minister came forward, like somebody who was being forced to do something against his will, and he administered medicine, but that medicine was too late to save the baby. The baby is gone. The I.A.C. has been dissolved, or it is being dissolved.

Last May I made an appeal to the Minister for Finance for this tariff. I was then told by the Minister that this tariff would be a distinct disadvantage to the country. I have seen his words in the Official Report. In November it was an advantage to the country because it was going to save the I.A.C. The farming community, from May until November, was producing milk at a dead loss. Nobody in his senses would say that 3½d. to 4d. was a fair price for milk. That was the price paid when this prohibition was put on. We see a terrible anxiety at the present moment to get rid of this tariff. Why? This tariff has not got anything like a fair trial yet. The farmers of the country had become hopeless in this matter; they had lost all hope that the Minister for Agriculture was going to take any steps to protect them. To their amazement, he did take this step, but they were not prepared for it. Last November, when the Minister brought in this proposal for a tariff on butter, a large number of the farmers had got rid of their cows. That is the reason why there was not the increased production of butter this winter that, in the ordinary course of events, would be likely to follow the tariff. If the farmers of the country were able to place any confidence in the Minister for Agriculture, they would have kept their cows last November instead of selling them off. This tariff will be of benefit undoubtedly in the next three or four months while the farmers will have the summer milk. There will be no occasion for importing foreign butter from 1st May onwards.

It is coming in at present.

I do not know about that.

Look up the returns.

The returns can very plainly be seen. One penny a gallon on milk is a definite profit to the farmer; it will mean 2/- a week for every cow, and a farmer with ten cows has £1 a week out of the butter tariff. No one can doubt but that is a benefit. I do not agree with the Minister that you can produce winter milk at the same price as you can produce summer milk. I have been producing milk for the last eleven years for the market, both in the winter and in the summer, and I find I could not do what the Minister says. I do not think this tariff is going to be of enormous benefit to the farmers, but it will at least prevent them being hunted out of existence altogether. As far as milch cows are concerned they were being sold wholesale, because farmers found it would not pay them to feed the cows and sell milk to a creamery at 3½d. or 4d. a gallon. They were getting out of that business in spite of the Minister's inducements. The worst of it was that they had involved themselves practically hopelessly. In many counties they had taken over creameries and they were hopelessly in debt. In all probability it would have meant absolute bankruptey in several parishes unless something of this nature was done. Therefore, for that reason, this tariff is undoubtedly a benefit.

I do not see why the Labour Party should have any great opposition to the tariff. The Labour Party should be concerned with the agricultural labourers who would be thrown out of employment, and indeed there are enough of them idle to-day. The wages paid to those labourers make them very little better than white slaves. It is an unfortunate position of affairs which can only be remedied if we go the right way about it. The right way is not by jumping on top of the first tariff that has been introduced here to protect the farmers. You will not benefit if the farmers have to sell their cattle and let the land go into grass. I have no doubt that is what the Minister for Agriculture might like; everything tends in that direction. This tariff has a bearing on the Minister's own child and he is trying to protect it, but unfortunately he did not start in time. He went into this matter much against his will and used every lever here to-day in order to damp every tariff put on here by the Cumann na nGaedheal Party during the last five years. He attacked the tariffs on boots, on woollens, and indeed every single tariff put on here under the cloak of defending this particular tariff. His defence of this tariff was the most damning thing of all. His speech to-night against the tariff on butter was the strongest speech delivered by any Deputy from any quarter of the House.

And you are voting with him.

I am voting because I know, as a farmer, and as one who associates with farmers, that this tariff is a direct benefit to the farming community. I sympathise with Deputy Haslett, especially when I consider that he and the Minister for Finance were joint sponsors in rend ing this country into two sections and in creating the very situation which caused all this trouble.

The Deputy must get back to the matter under discussion; he must talk about the resolution and nothing else.

I might be permitted to roam as far as other Deputies have roamed to-night.

The Deputy will be allowed to roam over the resolution before the House and over nothing else.

I have given my reasons for supporting the tariff. It is the first relief the farmer has got. It is a lesson to those who represent rural constituencies to observe the howl that has been raised about this tariff. We have supported industrial tariffs one after the other. I have supported every tariff introduced since I came here for the reason that I want to see employment given to the people of the country. I believe every tariff that gives employment is a benefit to the country because it increases the home market. I wish others would be as generous towards the farming community. This tariff has not got a fair trial. If this matter were discussed twelve months from now we would be in a better position to discuss it because we would have an opportunity of seeing the tariff in operation.

The farmer is not like the industrialist; he cannot increase his products within a week. It takes him some time to develop a particular side of agriculture. He cannot jump from dairy cows to bullocks in a day or two. This tariff is deserving of at least a twelve-months' trial. If the Labour Party were to oppose this tariff twelve months hence I would consider very seriously their grounds for objecting. An objection now is frivolous and unfair, and it is unworthy of the Party making it. I congratulate the Minister on his funeral oration over the grave of the I.A.C. I think it was a splendid production. If the Minister took the advice given him last May by our Party he would not be in his present difficult position and the I.A.C. would be in a different position. He was not prepared to take that advice, which showed him that the farmer was producing milk and was at the same time taking imported butter.

During the whole of last summer. Deputy Gorey cannot pay attention to too many things at the same time. If he gets mixed up in the dog business he must remain with the dogs, and he must not be trying to switch over to other things, because that will not work.

It is better to be in a kennel than in a monkey house.

I do not wish to delay the House any further. I have given my reasons for supporting the tariff, and they are honest reasons. I hope that when this tariff is examined twelve months hence the Labour Party will be the most enthusiastic supporters of it.

I would not have risen were it not for some of the conclusions drawn from this, which, unintentionally perhaps, were misleading. References were made to the benefits to the small farmer. This tariff can only be of benefit to the farmer for a period of four months in the year. It cannot be of any benefit to him outside that period. The amount of money involved in connection with the butter coming into the country this winter is comparatively small. The small farmer has not many cows. Suppose he has six cows. He may have one of them calving during the winter. He needs the milk for his own family. The small farmer has no milk to send to the creamery during these four winter months. It is a joke to talk about ten cows making so much profit during a week, because if a man has ten or twenty cows only a very small proportion of them will be calving during the winter. One Deputy talked about 2/6 extra profit every week. He is going on the basis of the five-gallon cow in winter time. We have no such yield. If we have a three-gallon cow during the winter period we have an exceptionally good cow on the average.

We have a four-gallon cow.

Taking them on the average, our cows are not making six hundred gallons in the summer. What is the average cow making in the winter time? It is not making two gallons. If we work it out in that way we will have to go on a different basis altogether from the half-crown profit every week, on the basis of one penny per gallon. There was no such price as 3½d. per gallon for milk during the summer time. It was bad enough at 4½d. and 5d.

There was 3d. a gallon.

There was no such thing as 3d. or 3½d., because the summer price last year was infinitely better than the winter price. If it were not for the tariff, what would have been the price for the winter, when we consider the price to which butter dropped? If the price of butter during the summer was 140/- or 145/- and the price of milk was only 3½d., what would it be in the winter? About 2d. Deputies ought to have some sense of proportion and not be exaggerating and making a joke of a serious matter. For the last supply of milk we got 6d., and probably will get that also for the January supply. The farmers have got something out of the tariff. One penny per gallon of milk means 2½d. or perhaps more on a pound of butter. In addition to that the butter that was in cold storage was not the property of the I.A.C. but of the farmers. The creameries outside the I.A.C. held more butter than those in the I.A.C., as Deputy Corry knows if he was just about the matter. I do not suppose, however, that he wants to be just. He would rather have a sling at the Minister by saying that he fathered the I.A.C. The I.A.C. was the child of the creameries and of nobody else. If they made a mess of the matter it is their own fault. They were doing the business and nobody else. I say that those who have broken away from it will wish before the season is over that they had continued in it.

The principal reason I stood up was to refer to this question of winter dairying. There is no use living in a fool's paradise. Except the tendency of the last three years is altered it is only a joke to talk of winter dairying in this country. New Zealand and Australia have developed their summer dairying to a point at which during 1929, 1930 and 1931 they were able to sell butter at much less than our summer price. Would anybody tell me that it is good sense to advise people here to go in for winter production when New Zealand and Australia can sell butter, as the last three years have proved, at much less than our summer price? That may be abnormal, or it may be normal. Before we give such advice we ought to wait and see if that will continue. If it does continue, and they can sell their butter as cheap as we can in summer time, it is foolish to advise our producers to try and produce butter in winter. If they can sell it less, it is worse than foolish to give that advice.

My advice to milk producers is not to attempt to enter into winter production of milk with the object of producing butter. If it is done with the object of producing milk for sale, it is quite good business. But even that can be overdone if a large number enter into competition with each other for a limited market. Winter dairying, even for milk production, is only good to a limited extent. If Australia and New Zealand are able to maintain their present rate of supply, winter dairying in this country is a thing of the past. What might be a good thing ten years ago is certainly not good to-day, and the events of the last three years have proved it. This discussion has done one thing if it has done nothing else— it has removed the fog from the brains of any farmers who thought tariffs, and especially indiscriminate tariffs, were going to be of any benefit to them.

I am rather amazed at this cry of the increased cost to the consumer of this particular article. The cost will only be increased for three or four months, and only to a limited number of thousands of pounds, while other tariffs have increased the cost by millions on the consumer. I am rather amazed to see the distinction made between this and other tariffs. This is only the crumb of a crust that has been offered to the farmers. They are not even getting a bit of the loaf, or even the crust. They are only getting a crumb of the crust.

[An Ceann Comhairle resumed the Chair.]

I am sorry the turn this debate has taken this evening. I thought on the last occasion we were discussing this question, and when the tariff on imported butter coming into the country was passed without a division, that the farmers could expect something. Now it seems that the somersault has occurred and a lot of lip sympathy was offered to the farmers of the country and to the unfortunate agricultural workers—the worst paid section of the community. I speak on behalf of the agricultural workers, and I speak as an Irish farmer in contact with them daily, and as one who knows their sufferings and sympathises with them, and I say that we should all join together to improve the conditions in which they live and to lift them out of the unfortunate position in which they are.

A lot of questions have been asked as to how this tariff benefits the farmer. How many extra men have been employed, and a thousand and one other silly questions. How on earth can a tariff imposed two months ago and hardly yet in operation affect the position? Besides it must be remembered that the creamery industry of the country has gone through the worst phase of its existence during the last year. It takes a little time even if there were extra profits coming to the farmer in co-operation with the creameries to straighten out their difficulties with the creameries without talking at all of extra profits. The farmers who are trying to co-operate with the creameries are quite satisfied if that was the only benefit that accrued. I am giving my personal opinion, and I can speak for 400 or 500 dairy farmers in the Midlands—I have been in discussion with them on every phase of the question from A to Z— and we are quite satisfied if all the benefits of this tariff this winter only affect the creameries in so far as it may put them on their feet and enable them to get out of their financial difficulties, and enable them to start with renewed confidence in 1931—if that is the result a good day's work would be done by the action of the Dáil and the Executive Council in putting on this tariff. I know what I am talking about, for I was one of those who helped to put forward this application.

Our creameries as new creameries are feeling the effect of the situation by which foreign-produced butter is dumped here at 10d. a lb. from New Zealand and everywhere else. I ask the Irish men to turn a little of their attention to their own country, and not like Deputy Gorey to be defending the policy of bringing in New Zealand butter and leaving Irish farmers sitting down in idleness in winter instead of taking part in the production of the necessaries of life for their fellow-countrymen.

This tariff has definitely benefited the creamery situation. It has given the farmers a new hope. Cows ready for sale were retained and springers coming into milk now were retained simply because the farmer said the Government have given us a new hope and this is a chance of supplying home needs and we can look forward with confidence to other steps being taken by the Government to help us. On the question of the money that came from this tariff and the benefit it brought to the Exchequer, I earnestly suggest to the Minister for Finance that he could not do a better thing with that money collected from this tariff than to make it available for the Department of Agriculture to help the creameries, whether in Limerick or elsewhere, that are in financial difficulties, and that money should be spent for the benefit of industry worth £12,000,000 a year, and no public representatives need have any qualms about doing the right thing in allowing it to go in that direction.

We had a lot of talk about the consumer. I ask any fair-minded person to consider how much worsened the position of the consumer is this year as compared with last year. We know that economic depression set in during the last year. In no sphere of industry has acute depression been felt so much as among the farmers and the agricultural workers. Surely if we are sympathetic and if we are not offering merely lip sympathy to the farmers we should think before we rush this thing and not alter a right experiment before it has well started. I think the attitude taken up with regard to control is wrong. I agree with those who think that a claim can be put forward for control. At the same time I ask is control to be exercised in connection with other necessaries of life? Is there to be control when bacon prices jump from 2d. to 4d. per lb.?

I am glad that those who have spoken in favour of this tariff have realised that there is necessity for control as regards the amount of butter to be put into cold storage next winter. I am glad to hear that the Minister for Agriculture and the Department have power and intend to seek for extra power to control that situation. Otherwise it would nullify the good effect of the tariff in the coming winter. As regards the effect of this tariff on the creamery industry, it would want to get three or four years' trial before you can decide what the real effects will be. You cannot decide in one year or in two or three months. It will take two or three years and longer for a normal situation to come round as regards butter when we consider that New Zealand and Australia and other countries have increased their production in the last 18 months by 100 per cent. No apology need be made for shutting out the foreign article when Irish farmers, whether in the creameries of the country or in the homesteads, are willing and anxious to produce butter if the people will agree to pay the cost of production price for that article. The farmer is not asking for any abnormal profits. Anyone who knows anything about farming knows well that they are satisfied if they can keep the ordinary circle of farming going round and do not find themselves in debt. Unfortunately a very large number of them are in debt, and any little amelioration of their condition that we can bring about we ought to effect without making such a fuss about it.

I have been talking to several consumers in my constituency and elsewhere, and whilst they agree that in some cases the shopkeepers have taken an unfair advantage of the people, the situation is not as bad as it is painted. Deputy Nolan and Deputy Bennett, from County Limerick, are entitled to their opinions as regards dairying conditions in Limerick. But I speak for a mixed tillage district where, if anywhere in the country, the work of winter production of butter can be taken up. I am perfectly satisfied that experiment can be gone on with in the Midlands and made a success. I am convinced that the work done in our area—and I am speaking for five or six creameries connected with Roscrea, Donaghmore and Tullamore—is such as is going to be successful in the end.

Deputy Nolan thought it a pity that the Agricultural Credit Corporation did not do something for the farmer. As far as it affects this debate alone I think it fair to say that in our creamery we took advantage of the scheme for the distribution of funds for dairy farmers. The Midland creameries, with their three auxiliaries, distributed £6,000, repayable in seven years. That money is repayable from the milk cheques in the five best months of the year. That may be information for some of those who possibly could take advantage of a similar scheme, whether in Limerick or elsewhere. I would point that out to Deputy Nolan for the benefit of districts in Limerick which are hard hit for finance. In Limerick, there are, I understand, lots of farmers who go in for seasonal production of milk. They buy cows at the beginning of the season and sell them at the end, and such a scheme could be taken more advantage of than in our area. The Deputy should look into the matter to see whether any money could be got from that source for the benefit of the dairy farmers who may be in need of funds. That may be irrelevant to this question, but I wish to mention it to bring to light the true facts of the case. I am really sorry on this question of the sale of our butter that there is a difficulty in getting the dairy farmers of the country and the creamery managers to find a basis of agreement as to how to co-operate in the selling of their butter.

I believe it is essential, for the proper development of the dairying industry and the proper exploitation of the British market, for the selling of butter and the proper exploitation of the home market as between the butter for sale and the consumer, to have proper combination that could control the situation and the amount of butter that could go into cold storage. If such a co-operative development could be got together, and please God I hope it will, the farmers and the creamery managers who are pulling against each other now, and developing petty personal points instead of looking to the industry of the country should sink these differences and hammer out a common co-operative policy to control the situation. I say farmers have benefited by this, and I am quite prepared to defend that statement. I say the agricultural labouring people of the country have benefited because many farmers have been enabled to hold on to men who otherwise might have to go. At present, it is unfortunate, and I say with all sincerity, we ought to open up our minds and sympathies towards the situation. Many farmers are keeping men because they have them for several years, and it is not the farmers' fault that they only pay them 8/-, 10/- or 12/- a week. There are black sheep among farmers as you have black sheep among employees in relation to how they work for the farmer. We can cry quits on this question.

I say as far as the benefit of the 4d. tariff is concerned the major portion has been passed on directly or indirectly to the farmers, because who owns the creameries? As a matter of fact, when you talk about the I.A.C., who owns it? Who owns the butter in the cold storage? It is the farmers in co-operation. If certain profits went over to creameries, I.A.C. or anybody else was it not better that it went to them than that it should go to some wholesalers or anyone else? But even if wholesalers in the country happen to be lucky enough to benefit from this tariff what about it? It will do somebody good, and some of the butter factors and others had a bad time of it all last year. If they were put on their feet it would redound to their good and help them in the coming season to renew their efforts. It will encourage the farmer to make home butter and sell it to the factor. Deputy O'Hanlon quoted certain figures with regard to the I.A.C. and other figures of the sort. I think it is very dangerous to be quoting figures at present, and it is not fair to be asking anyone to state whether he is paying say 2d. or 3d. when the experiment has hardly started yet. I am whole-heartedly in support of this tariff. I hope it will be permanent, and that this time twelve months those persons in opposition to it now will make up their minds and say that it is a good thing that it was imposed.

Having listened to a lot of oratorical breezes from the hills of Ireland, it is time an ordinary representative from one of the cities would say something in relation to the unfortunate consumer about whom we heard a good deal this evening. The Minister for Agriculture was speaking with his tongue in his cheek most of the time when making his speech in support of that tariff, because, though he declared he was in favour of this tariff on butter, his speech was one which would convince any person here that he was inclined to waver as between a tariff or no tariff. My mind has been made up for a very long time, and I think, with the single exception of Deputy Coburn, I was the only Deputy in this House who spoke against the imposition of this tariff at the beginning.

I said then, and I repeat now, that there may have been at that period a particular reason why a tariff should be placed on butter, but what was true in November is no longer true. As a matter of fact, it is well known that some creameries are at the moment purchasing butter, putting it in cartons and wrappers in the majority of cases having the names of these creameries on the cartons or wrappers, and the butter is being sold over the country at a huge profit to certain retailers. Now we have had from the Minister for Agriculture that the imposition of this tariff was in the nature of an experiment. I want to suggest to the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Finance, who is responsible for this tariff, that it is a very dangerous thing to make any experiment so far as the food of the people of this country is concerned. When on one occasion in another country there was what one might describe as a tariff ramp, the slogan which was mainly responsible for putting a Government out of office was "A free breakfast table for the people." I suggest to the present Government that the sooner they put an end to these tactics of taxing the food of the people the better it will be for themselves and for the country as a whole.

An attempt has been made to suggest that there is an analogy between a tariff on boots and a tariff on butter. There is no analogy whatsoever between the two. In one case, it has been suggested by some of the farmer Deputies who profess to have a great amount of sympathy for the poor labouring man in the country that this tariff of 4d. per lb. on butter, which on the evidence submitted by the farmer Deputies does not mean 1d. or 2d. to the farmers in butter production, that that penny or twopence is to go in relief of the working-class people who work for the farmers of the country. I want to suggest to the farmer Deputies who speak like that, and the last Deputy who spoke is one of them, is it not true that the farm labourer will have to pay more for his butter? Is it not true that some of the farmers of this House are buying their butter now?

More shame for them.

It may be more shame to them. It has been stated here by farmer Deputies, and by no less an authority than the Minister for Agriculture, that it is questionable whether under the climatic conditions that prevail in this country winter dairying could be made a paying proposition. Deputy Gorey admits that because of certain conditions operating in Australia and New Zealand they can produce and market butter in this country at the present time at less than the cost of producing it in this country, that it would not be an economic proposition to establish winter dairying in the Free State. Having regard to all these facts and to the extraordinary difference of opinion that exists between farmer Deputies and the dubiety that exists in the mind of the Minister for Agriculture himself, is it any wonder that the poor consumer from the cities and towns of the country is asking his representatives in no circumstances to vote for any future tariffs on butter, or on any other article of food that is consumed in this country

Some questions have been asked as to the effect of this tariff. Some Deputies who have spoken in favour of this tariff appear to doubt that it has increased the price of the commodity. I think it was Deputy Corry who suggested that it had not increased the price of butter in the towns and cities. I want to say that in the City of Cork, before the imposition of this tariff—I can bring Press paragraphs and market prices to prove it—the price of butter per lb. was 1/3 while to-day it is 1/9 and 1/10. Is that profiteering or is it protecting the consumer? No voice has been raised in protest by the farmer Deputies against this extortion and this profiteering and, I am reminded, not by Fianna Fáil either. Some people say, and it is the argument of the Minister for Agriculture, not the argument of the Minister for Finance, that those who advocated tariffs on boots, woollens, etc., have advanced a very specious argument in their favour. The Minister for Agriculture suggests that there should be no whining and no expression of disapproval because another section of the community, namely the agricultural community, desires or asks for a tariff on one of their products, namely butter. I have a slight suspicion, knowing something about the pranks of the Minister for Agriculture, that this tariff was introduced purposely and designedly for the breaking up, if you like, of this ramp for tariffs all over the country. I think the Minister for Agriculture is ingenious enough to be able to experiment in that way, so that this boomerang may react on people who think that the only panacea for all the economic ills in this country should be found in the imposition of tariffs and still more tariffs. I hold there is good and valid reason for the imposition of tariffs on certain commodities, but I see no reason whatsoever, and I stated so last November, why this tariff should be imposed on the food of the common people of this country, all the time remembering that this tariff will fall upon the people who are least able to bear it. The well-to-do person, the ordinary middle class person, will not mind paying an additional threepence or fourpence per pound for his butter. but, relatively and proportionately, it means a tremendous burden to the poor people of the lanes and the alleys of the city. I have had submitted to me during the last few weeks budgets of ordinary working-class households, showing an increase since this tariff was introduced, of from 1/9 to 2/3 per week, according to the size of the family, and according to the amount of butter consumed.

Something has been said about the agricultural labourer and his wages. In my view, this means a reduction in the wages of the agricultural labourer, a reduction in the wages of every consumer in the Free State, a reduction represented by the amount he pays over and above that which he should pay on a necessary article of food. Objection is taken to reducing wages. By all means it is the correct attitude to adopt, especially at this period when more spending is necessary. I look upon this tariff as I have looked upon it since last November as tantamount to a reduction in the wages and salaries paid to the wage-earners of this country. I understand there has been a great rapprochement in this country between certain members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party and certain members of Fianna Fáil. It is certainly a very good thing to have such Deputies as Deputy Heffernan on the one side and Deputy Lemass on the other, entering into a combination to raise the price of this particular article of food. It is undoubtedly a happy consummation of the dreams of the profiteers in this country and a negation of all that Arthur Griffith stood for in the old Sinn Féin movement. The Minister for Agriculture said, or implied, in the course of his speech, if I did not mistake him, that he could give us no definite assurance that the imposition of this tariff would encourage winter dairying. Neither did he give us any assurance that there would be anything in the nature of protection for the consumer. He said that to an extent they could control prices at the source. He told us of the steps he proposed to take. He would get a census from the various creameries of all the butter they held in cold storage from time to time at certain periods, and at the same time he told us that once it passed from them he could not prevent profiteering, or control prices during a certain period. What the Labour Party has always stood for, and will continue to stand for, is control up to a certain point. I will go farther and ask for some price-fixing tribunal, but in this matter we had no attempt made to control. If we had we would not have the prices I mentioned a while ago operating in Cork City and, I understand, operating in certain parts of Dublin City.

Deputy O'Connell suggested that we would be prepared to support any measure that would be taken effectively to help the small farmer. We look upon the small farmer as a worker and a producer. We are prepared at all times to advocate anything that will better his position, but we feel in this matter that the small farmer is not being helped at all. I have made it my business to get into contact with a number of small farmers quite recently. I asked them what was the reaction of the butter tariff on their industry, and they assured me, as far as they were concerned, that it did not benefit them one brown copper. That is the position. Conditions, of course, may differ from one county to another, but I am giving you exactly the conditions as I have found them, and that within a radius of a couple of miles of where I live. I understand that one of the reasons advanced for winter dairying is that it would result in the continuity of supplies. That again has been turned down, so far, at any rate, as the Minister for Agriculture is concerned, and I take it that he is an authority. He has told us, in fact, that he is very doubtful that the effects of the tariff would result in that particular way, in the direction of continuity of supplies for the home market and for the British market. One point I think has been missed, at least by Deputies whose speeches I have heard, and that is that under any set of circumstances, so far as the production of butter is concerned, and, indeed, for the matter of that, any agricultural product, particularly for live stock, the price must always bear some relation to the international price of such commodity. The prices of such commodities as butter, bacon and eggs are usually governed by international prices or by those obtaining in the London market. The Minister will correct me if I am making a mistake, but that has been my impression.

Why should that be?

There are several reasons, but it is not appropriate to go into them now. While generally concerned with the prosperity of the farmer, especially the small farmer, I am immediately more concerned—because I am more frequently brought into contact with them—with the consumers in the cities and towns who are footing the bill for this tariff. If the Minister for Agriculture or the Minister for Finance can assure this House that the revenue so derived would be placed to the credit of agriculture in some way—for instance, by helping the farmer to produce more milk in winter, though the Minister for Agriculture says that he does not believe it is possible—and if that money were directed into some productive channel, I think that the townspeople would be only too happy to make some sacrifice to put the industry on its feet. As I said in the beginning, however, this tariff is a very dangerous experiment, and I hope that it will come to an end very soon. It is a dangerous experiment to deal in this way with the food of the people, and for these reasons I intend to vote against the tariff.

One of the objections raised by the Labour Party on this question is the fear that it is resulting, and will continue to result, in increasing the cost of living. They stress very much the great hardship inflicted by an increase in the cost of butter to the poor labourer's family and the fact that it will limit the amount of butter which such family will be able to purchase, but they leave out of consideration altogether the family of the labourer who is out of work and who has not been able to purchase butter for a considerable period. They also ask for certain guarantees about the imposition of this tariff and want to know whether the benefits are going to the farmer. That has been fairly well answered by farmers here with experience, and they state that they are getting the benefit of it. If that answer is not satisfactory then I am afraid that they will have to set up some machinery to investigate the whole procedure in regard to this tariff and to see whether the farmer is really getting the benefit. Again, they raise doubts as to whether the tariff will result in an improvement in the case of the farm labourers, but the Labour Party know very well that they themselves ran away from the farm labourer for a number of years and failed to secure for him the economic conditions which apply to labourers in cities and towns. Why did they run away from him? Simply because the farmers were not able to pay the rate of wages which the trade unions laid down as necessary for farm labourers.

When a proposal is now put forward to improve conditions for the employers of the farm labourer the very Party who should support it— the Labour Party—are the first to fly in opposition to it, thereby inflicting a perpetual imposition on the farm labourer that is intolerable. It has been mentioned in the course of this debate by farmers that the rate of wages for a farm labourer is between eight and ten shillings a week, but we heard no strong condemnation from the Labour Party on that rate of wages, and we have not heard of them going down to organise the labourers in that part of the country. The whole point of view of the Labour Party seems to be that the amount of the tariff is so small it is of no consequence to the farmers. I can tell them, however, that the income of the farmer is so small, that even a small sum of money is eagerly sought by him, and regarded as worth looking after, no matter how small it may appear in the eyes of Labour Deputies.

The Minister for Agriculture made an extraordinary statement on this question. He seemed to wrap himself up in complete enjoyment over the fact that there was some opposition raised in this House towards the imposition of this tariff, and he seemed to think that this debate justified his whole attitude on the question of tariffs for a number of years past. One of the points which he laboured most was that he was very doubtful after two months' experience as to whether the tariff would result in any improvement in the winter supply of milk or an improvement in dairying in any way whatever. The Minister for Agriculture must know perfectly well that the dairying industry needs assistance, and that unless he is prepared to give the necessary assistance to keep it on its feet that industry will inevitably disappear. The Minister advocated in this House some years back a general policy of the spread of creameries, and secured from this House a substantial sum of public money in order to consolidate a certain group of creameries in a certain part of the country. He went round the country advising business people to invest their money in the starting of new creameries as they offered wonderful possibilities and provided the only solution that lay before the farmers of the country. Having done all that, having invested public funds in the development of that industry, and having encouraged private individuals to put their money into it, he now comes along with a sort of delightful feeling of accomplishment when he finds that the tariff is not likely to result in putting that industry on a successful basis. The only alternative, of course, is the ruination of that industry. Will he justify himself as the Minister who is responsible more than anybody else for the increase of creameries, and for the introduction of money into that industry? Will he justify it as a good and sound business proposition that they are a failure, that tariffs are hopeless to save them, although he himself is the man responsible for the establishment of that industry to an extent on its present basis?

The Minister must face the reality that if 4d. per gallon is not sufficient to establish the industry on a sound basis, then he must call on the country to provide the necessary contribution to make that industry a sound one. This is the position we should face, that dairying is an essential part of the existence of the State, and that any assistance that is necessary from the State must be forthcoming to safeguard that most essential end of industry. There is no use in saying that it is going to increase the cost of living. Other tariffs imposed by the Government have meant an increase in the cost of living, but in no single instance and in no single industry, in which public assistance has been given, was there such necessity for it as there is in the case of dairying.

Deputy O'Hanlon, on the other hand, found a solution which is ingenious and very simple. It consists of advertising the fact to the English people that we make butter in this country, and the moment the English people learn from these advertisements that we make butter they will offer us a higher price for our butter than they offer to any other country. I wonder if Deputy O'Hanlon is aware that the English people and the English consumers are aware that we produce eggs in this country and export them to England, and that on the shell of each egg is stamped the name of the place from which it was exported, namely, the Irish Free State? Therefore, the English consumer is well aware of the fact that we send eggs over to his market, but he does not come rushing along offering us the highest price he pays for eggs. Eggs exported from Northern Ireland bear no stamp, but by some form of Freemasonry the fact is known that these eggs are somehow a home product, and the exporters receive on the average from 2d. to 4d. a dozen more than we get from the consumer in England for our eggs. Very often eggs sent from the North of Ireland and sold to the English consumer as the produce of Northern Ireland are the produce of the Free State. They are taken across the Border and sold in shops there, and are afterwards exported to the English consumer. Will Deputy O'Hanlon tell us by what extraordinary process he is going to change the English mind towards Irish butter, seeing the English mind towards Irish eggs?

Some people suggest that Deputy O'Hanlon is a newspaper owner, and that that probably explains his anxiety for advertising. I would like Deputy O'Hanlon some day to come down to the country when the farmers are being paid from their creameries. The farmer there would be looking over a return something like this. This would be the month's return for a farmer who had three cows. He would have to his credit 100 gallons of milk at 3d. per gallon. When I mentioned that price Deputy Gorey contradicted me. He said he could not understand it, that the lowest would be 4d., or at least 3½d., but what I state is a fact. If Deputy Gorey or any other Deputy doubts my word I will show him a number of returns from creameries for last year. It may not be so low as 3d. per gallon now. The farmer looking at that return will see that he receives 3d. per gallon for 100 gallons, representing a total sum of £1 5s. 0d. As against that there would be the cost of cartage, a penny per gallon, a total of 8/4. There would also be the deduction for his shares on three cows at 2/6 each, a total of 7/6. This deduction would not occur on every pay-day, but it may be the pay-day on which Deputy O'Hanlon would go down. Then there would be a further deduction of 2/- for can-hire. That will represent a total deduction of 17/10, leaving the farmer a sum of 7/2 to take home with him. Deputy O'Hanlon can tell that man, who has such a large sum of money in his pocket, that we should advertise the fact that we make butter in this country. The Labour Party may tell that man that any improvement in the way of tariffs would be more than counterbalanced by the loss which would be entailed to the poor labourer, who would have to pay something additional for his butter. Let Deputy O'Hanlon and the Labour Deputies deliver that message to those farmers, and if they meet them in any numbers I can fairly guarantee that Deputy O'Hanlon and the Labour Deputies will get all the advertising they will be able to carry about with them for a few weeks afterwards.

There should be no question whatever about giving this tariff the support it deserves. It should at least get the assistance and the sympathy of the Dáil for such a period as is reasonably required to see whether it may prove a practical solution or not. If the Minister for Agriculture would take into consideration this problem as it should be handled or as it is his duty to handle it, he would not limit to 4d. the tax on butter, but he would tackle the situation on the basis that he would make this industry a paying proposition for those who are engaged in it. Until some person tackles the problem on these lines we cannot hope for any substantial improvement. There is one very vital question involved, and that is that creameries at present are heavily handicapped by overhead charges. These new creameries that have been established have to pay the initial cost of erecting the creameries and installing new plant. That has been made possible by loans made by the Department of Finance to the Minister for Agriculture. These loans are pressing heavily on the borrowers at the present time. Creameries newly started which hit a bad stroke of luck at the beginning of their career should be catered for specially as regards getting an extended period for repayment. It is a vital question for them. I say that until this question is tackled by some authority on the understanding that this is an essential industry and that whatever assistance the State may have to give in order to make it sound and prosperous, it will remain as it is, a staggering and a decaying one. I believe the solution lies in offering the farmer a price for his products that will enable him to continue in production and show some little margin of profit. I am old-fashioned enough to believe that the farmer, once assured of a decent return for his labour, will continue to produce, and that his products will find a market according to their merits. I prefer that line of reasoning and outlook to the one suggested by Deputy O'Hanlon. His only solution was that we should advertise.

One would imagine from the remarks made by some Deputies that the Labour Party was opposed to anything that aimed at the development of industry in this country. Deputy Lemass talked of the Labour Party always being shifty. One feels inclined to think that the Deputy is just preaching the doctrine that he himself is now following. He said that the Labour Party had changed concerning tariffs. I deny that. We have always contended that as regards industries which get the benefit of tariffs, the consuming public and the people engaged in them should get a fair show. I make no apology for being a member of the Labour Party. I was sent here by the working classes in Carlow-Kilkenny, not to support private profit seekers, whether they belong to the Fianna Fáil Party or to the Cumann na nGaedheal Party.

Those whom I represent are trying to exist on a miserable pittance of nine or ten shillings a week. They are being fleeced by these private profit seekers. I have worked as an agricultural labourer myself. I know what it is to try and live on ten or twelve shillings a week. My friends here on the left have only book knowledge on that. Think of the position of these agricultural labourers with large families trying to live on ten shillings a week and with the price of butter now increased by 5d. per lb. in order to increase the income of these private profit seekers. I will never stand for a policy of that kind. Deputy Lemass talked about Labour changing. The Deputy himself is the greatest authority in this House or outside of it as regards twisting. Five years ago he was in the wilderness, and asked the people to follow him there. He comes here now and says the Labour Party are wrong. The Labour Party have been here all the time endeavouring to secure that this country would be set up on a proper foundation so that our people could live in comfort and under decent conditions.

I am not in favour of this policy of increasing the price of butter on the working classes by 5d. per lb. If the private profit seekers have made a mess of things, that is no reason why the working classes, on their miserable wage, should be expected to make sacrifices in order to bolster up the inefficiency and blundering that has led to the present position. I intend to vote against the resolution.

We have now from Deputy Doyle the reason why the Labour Party is opposing this resolution. The reason is because it is not popular in the country. If it were popular the Labour Party would be in favour of it.

There are no farmers in our Party. They are all in the two big Parties.

The Minister for Agriculture said he doubted very much if the amount of the tariff would be sufficient to encourage winter dairying. I wonder if it occurred to him whether it would be sufficient to encourage even summer dairying? Are we coming to the point when the Minister may have to encourage summer dairying as well as winter dairying otherwise than by a tariff? Our Party is supporting the motion because they believe that it is of advantage to the farming community themselves to produce milk in the winter. The reason the tariff was introduced was not, as the Minister said, to try out an experiment, but rather because the dairying industry had reached a point when it needed some help. That help had to be given by means of a tariff, a subsidy or otherwise. It is possible that some better way of helping winter dairying could be found than by means of a tariff. I do not know. What I do know is that the tariff put on in November did help the people who were producing milk in the winter. I can speak on this with personal experience. I know that in many cases the increase in the price of milk was far more than 2d. a gallon. I have not heard any member of the Labour Party deny that.

If the price of milk had not been increased you would have very little milk being produced now. You would have all the butter needed coming in at 4d. a lb. less than the price it is to-day, but you would have none of that butter produced here. You would have the position referred to by many Deputies, of farmers going out of dairy production and selling off their milch cows. What would be the result of that? It would mean that the live-stock industry of the country would be threatened, because, as Deputies know, the dairy industry is its foundation. Some of us may hold different views with regard to the live-stock industry, tillage and other matters, but we all agree that if the dairy industry were to be killed by subsidised butter coming from Australia and other countries it would mean the end of our live-stock industry.

Deputy Anthony said that the price of butter in this country should never rule above the international price. I wonder if that opinion is held by all the members of the Deputy's Party? If that is their view, I would like to hear them explain the support they gave in the case of other tariffs introduced here. We all know that clothes and boots which are tariffed in this country can be bought on the international market far more cheaply than they can here.

You do not need a suit of clothes every day, but you do need butter.

I am aware of that. I think the case for this tariff has been sufficiently made. It is absolutely necessary if a filip is to be given to winter dairying. It is quite possible that a position will be reached when something similar will have to be done for summer dairying. The tariff will be useless after another month. The position may arise before the summer is over, when the Minister for Finance may have to come here and ask for a vote of money to help the dairy farmers. I wonder what will Deputy Anthony have to say if a vote has to be introduced to help the farmers to produce milk and butter? The opposition of the Labour Party to this tariff is mainly because it is unpopular in the country. If it were popular they would not be opposed to it.

So much has been said about this question that I only want to say that I was always opposed to the tariff on butter. I was opposed to the prohibition order, and also to the tax of. 4d. My chief objection to the tariff is that if people engaged in the dairying industry cannot meet competition when the raw materials are there in abundance, how in the name of common sense can we ever hope to establish other industries the raw materials for which have to be imported? We have the raw materials here in the form of land with which to manufacture butter and produce milk, and yet we are not able to compete. Surely that means that we are not able to stand up against outside competition. The cry some years ago was: "Get John Bull out of the country and we will have a land flowing with milk and honey." Now it seems that was a delusion, and that we want nothing but tariffs in order to hide behind them. This tariff, as has been pointed out by the Tariff Commission, will be of no advantage whatever to the dairying industry. My objection to the tariff of 4d. is that it is of no advantage to farmers generally. When Deputies are speaking about farmers I want them to think about farmers in the Twenty-Six Counties, and not to select a section of the farming community. There are farmers in my constituency who had to be content with five shillings per ton for potatoes three or four years ago. I am glad to say that there has been a change in that situation, and that they are now receiving from £3 to £3 10s. a ton. On the other hand, the dairying industry has only met one unfavourable year. Those in it immediately began to cry, and they expect the poor people in the towns and cities of the Twenty-Six Counties to pay for their losses.

It is well known that the chief factor for the introduction of the prohibition order and for the tax of 4d. a lb. was the fact that large quantities of butter were in cold storage in certain creameries throughout the Free State. That butter was being held over in the hope that the price would increase during the winter. These people made a mistake, and in order to compensate them for their losses prohibition was almost unanimously rushed through this House. I absolutely object to any section of the people, no matter in what industry they are engaged, having sufficient influence to compel whatever Government is in power to introduce for their particular benefit a special Money Resolution. I do not think such procedure would make for pure administration as far as this House is concerned. I absolutely protest against the manner in which this tariff is being introduced, and against the indecent haste with which it is being pressed. Deputies sought to draw certain analogies between the tariff on butter and the tariff on boots. In my opinion there is no analogy, for the simple reason that, as far as the butter industry is concerned, all the raw materials are here, while for boots the raw materials have, to a large extent, to be imported. In addition, the boot industry is an infant industry here, while the dairying industry has been carried on here since the beginning of the world, and, in my opinion, requires no incentive. The people engaged in it may not have employed the means that the people of other nations similarly engaged are employing. Deputy O'Hanlon ably demonstrated that point of view, and told the House the difference that exists between the price paid for Danish butter on the London markets and the price paid there for Free State butter.

I think it is about time we should get away from the idea that our only salvation lies in the imposition of tariffs. That outlook is the very negation of the principle for which the majority of the people of this country stood some years ago, self-reliance. I think the one thing necessary for all industries here is that the people should face up to the situation as it exists. As the Minister for Agriculture pointed out recently, there must be economies and sacrifices all round, because we are attempting to keep up here, more or less, a standard of living which the revenue of the country does not afford. Until people are prepared to make certain sacrifices which will have the effect of bringing relief to the farming community, I see no hope for the establishment of new industries, not to talk of preserving the existing ones. For that reason I am going to vote against this resolution.

I am glad that I will not be alone in my opposition on this occasion. I notice that the members of the Labour Party have—wisely, in my opinion— changed their opinions since the question first came before the House. I think that it indicates moral courage in any Party, where the members may have expressed certain opinions a few months ago, to admit that as time went on further pursuance of that policy is wrong. I think it displays a certain amount of moral courage amongst the members of that Party to get up and say they were wrong. I congratulate the members of the Labour Party on the stand they have taken on this occasion in opposing a tariff of 4d. per lb. on butter, as it is going to impose a very great hardship on a considerable section that is least able to bear it.

Question—"That the Dáil agree with the Committee in this Resolution"— put.
The Dáil divided: Ta, 106; Níl, 20.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Aird, William P.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Clery, Michael.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Connolly, Michael P.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Daly, John.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Dolan, James N.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Finlay, Thomas A.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Haves, Seán.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Kelly, Patrick Michael.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Leonard, Patrick.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, William Archer.
  • Revnolds, Patrick.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Tiernev, Michael.
  • Tubridy, John.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.


  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davin, William.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Everett, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mvles, James Sproule.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • White, John.
Tellers—Tá: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle; Níl: Deputies Davin and Cassidy.
Question declared carried.