Agricultural Produce (Potatoes) Bill, 1931—Committee Stage.

Sections 1 to 6 inclusive agreed to.
SECTION 7.
(1) On every application for an exporter's (general) licence there shall be paid to the Minister by the applicant a fee of two pounds and ten shillings, returnable to the applicant if his application be refused, and the payment of such fee shall be a condition precedent to the entertainment of the application by the Minister.
(2) If the Minister, after consideration of an application for an exporter's (general) licence, is of opinion that such licence should be granted, he shall cause a notification in writing to that effect to be sent to the applicant.
(3) If on receipt of a notification in accordance with the foregoing sub-section the applicant pays to the Minister a further fee of twenty-two pounds and ten shillings the Minister shall forthwith issue to him an exporter's (general) licence.

I move amendment 1:—

In sub-section (1), lines 38-39, to delete the words "two pounds" and substitute therefor the words "one pound."

This means a reduction from £2 10s. to £1 10s. in the case of an applicant for a licence. I would ask the House to consider also sub-section (3) of the same section, to which I have an amendment reducing the sum of £22 to £13 10s. That means that the deposit will be £1 10s., and taken with the £13 10s. the total will be £15; thus the exporter's licence will be reduced from £25 to £15. I hope the Minister will consider the advisability of accepting the amendments, because if the licence duty is left at the sum of £25, it will mean hardship for some of the smaller exporters. I would ask the Minister to make the following matter clear, because some misapprehension arises in my part of the country, some people contend that the amended licence of £15 would mean an annual sum.

I think it would be better if the Deputy dealt with amendment 1 separately.

Mr. Hogan

The position is that Deputy White has sent in amendments to reduce all the fees. He proposes to reduce £25 to £15 and to reduce the annual fees from 1s. 6d. to 1s., from 1s. to 9d. and from 9d. to 6d. I have discussed the matter with Deputy White and I have come to the conclusion that I will accept the amendments. Of course the £25 fee is not an annual fee. It is the fee for registration.

If a man dies and if the licence is transferred to his son has the £15 to be paid again?

Mr. Hogan

No.

Amendment agreed to.

I move:

In sub-section (3), line 49, to delete the words "twenty-two" and to substitute therefor the word "thirteen."

Mr. Hogan

I accept the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 7, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Section 8 agreed to.
SECTION 9.
(1) Every licensed (general) exporter shall in respect of every consignment of potatoes submitted by him to an inspector for examination under this Act pay to the Minister at the time and in the manner provided by this Act a fee (in this Act referred to as an inspection fee) in accordance with the following provisions, that is to say:—
(a) the inspection fee shall be calculated by reference to the number of tons of potatoes in such consignment, and shall be at the respective rate for every ton mentioned in this sub-section;
(b) where the potatoes in such consignment are graded and packed in registered premises of which such exporter is the registered proprietor, the rate shall be—
(i) in the case of ware potatoes, sixpence, and
(ii) in the case of seed potatoes, such rate (not exceeding one shilling for every ton) as may be prescribed;
(c) where the potatoes in such consignment are graded and packed in registered premises of which such exporter is not the registered proprietor, the rate shall be—
(i) if such potatoes (whether ware potatoes or seed potatoes) are submitted for examination at a railway station or wharf, such rate (not exceeding one shilling for every ton) as may be prescribed,
(ii) if such potatoes (whether ware potatoes or seed potatoes) are submitted for examination at any other place, such rate (not exceeding one shilling and sixpence for every ton) as may be prescribed.
(2) Every licensed (grower) exporter shall in respect of every consignment of potatoes submitted by him to an inspector for examination under this Act pay to the Minister at the time and in the manner provided by this Act a fee (in this Act also referred to as an inspection fee) calculated by reference to the number of tons of potatoes in such consignment and such fee shall be at such rate (not exceeding one shilling for every ton) as may be prescribed.
(3) For the purpose of calculating the amount of any inspection fee chargeable under this section the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—
(a) any reference in this section to the weight of potatoes shall be deemed to be a reference to the weight of such potatoes and the packages in which they are contained;
(b) where the weight of the potatoes in any consignment is less than one ton the weight of such potatoes shall be deemed to be one ton;
(c) where the weight of potatoes in any consignment exceeds a ton or exceeds any complete number of tons such excess shall be deemed to be a ton.

I move:

In sub-section (1) (b) (ii), line 20, to delete the words "one shilling" and to substitute therefor the words "nine pence."

Mr. Hogan

I accept this and the other amendments to this section on the Order Paper.

The following amendments were agreed to:—

In sub-section (1) (c) (i), line 28, to delete the words "one shilling" and substitute therefor the words "nine pence."

In sub-section (1) (c) (ii), line 33, to delete the words "and sixpence."

In sub-section (2), line 40, to delete the words "one shilling for every ton" and to substitute therefor the words "six pence for every ton of ware potatoes and nine pence for every ton of seed potatoes."

Section 9, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 10, 11 and 12 agreed to.
SECTION 13.
(1) The Minister may at any time alter or revoke an exporter's licence upon the application of the holder of such licence or, in the case of an individual, the personal representative, or, in the case of an incorporated body, the liquidator of the holder of such licence.
(2) The Minister may at any time, without any such application, revoke an exporter's licence if he is satisfied—
(a) that such licence was procured by fraud or by misrepresentation whether fraudulent or innocent; or
(b) that the premises of which the holder of such licence is the registered proprietor have ceased to be registered in the register of potatoe packing premises; or
(c) that the holder of such licence, if an individual, has died or, if an incorporated body, has been dissolved and that such licence has not been transferred by the Minister under this Act to another person within three months after such death or dissolution; or
(d) that the holder of such licence has been adjudicated a bankrupt; or
(e) in the case of an exporter's (general) licence, that in any calendar year other than the first calendar year subsequent to the date on which such licence was issued either—
(i) no potatoes were exported by the holder of such licence during such year, or
(ii) if ware potatoes only were exported by such holder during such year, the quantity so exported was less than five hundred tons, or
(iii) if seed potatoes only were exported by such holder during such year, the quantity so exported was less than two hundred and fifty tons, or
(iv) if both ware potatoes and seed potatoes were exported by such holder during such year, the total quantity of potatoes so exported was less than five hundred tons; for the purpose of this sub-paragraph, a quantity of seed potatoes shall be reckoned as weighing twice its actual weight; or
(f) in the case of an exporter's (grower's) licence, that in the opinion of the Minister the holder of such licence has committed a breach of the statutory conditions attaching to an exporter's (grower's) licence or either of such conditions; or
(g) that, in the opinion of the Minister, there has been any contravention by the holder of such licence (whether by way of commission or omission) of this Act or any regulations made thereunder; or
(h) that the holder of such licence, having made a contract for the sale of potatoes to be exported by virtue of his licence has, in the opinion of the Minister, without reasonable cause failed or omitted to carry out such contract.
(3) Before revoking (otherwise than in accordance with an application in that behalf made under this section) an exporter's licence, the Minister shall give at least one fortnight's notice in writing of his intention so to revoke such licence to the holder thereof, or his personal representative (if any) or the liquidator of the holder (as the case may be), and shall consider any representations made before the expiration of such notice by such holder, or personal representative or liquidator (as the case may be), and may if he thinks fit cause an inquiry to be held in relation to the matter.
(4) A notice of the Minister's intention to revoke or alter an exporter's licence may be served by delivering it to the person to whom it is addressed or by leaving it with a person over sixteen years of age on the registered premises of the holder of the licence or by sending it by post to the person to whom it is addressed at his last known place of abode.
(5) Where an exporter's licence has been revoked by the Minister under this section, the Minister may at any time thereafter refuse to grant an exporter's licence to the person who was the holder of such first-mentioned licence immediately before the revocation thereof.

Mr. Hogan

I am accepting the amendments (7, 8 and 9 to this section) standing on the Order Paper in the name of Deputy White:—

In sub-section (2) (e) (ii), line 7, to delete the word "five" and to substitute therefor the word "three."

In sub-section (2) (e) (iii), line 10, to delete the word "two" and to substitute therefor the word "one."

In sub-section (2) (e) (i), line 14, to delete the word "five" and to substitute therefor the word "three."

Amendments agreed to.
Section 13, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 14 to 23 inclusive agreed to.
SECTION 24.

Will the Minister make arrangements for examination of the potatoes on a day suitable to the exporters? Will the inspector make himself familiar with a date and the hours that are suitable to the exporters in each area?

Mr. Hogan

Of course he will.

Sometimes an inspector might fix a date for the inspection on which the grower might be engaged in sheep-dipping.

The present arrangement is that the inspector attends at the railway station, and he notifies the people to bring their potatoes there at an appointed time, when he inspects them.

Mr. Hogan

I think it is almost the invariable practice for the inspector and the exporters to agree on a day.

That is the present practice.

Section 24 and the remaining sections and the Title agreed to.
Report Stage ordered for Friday, 26th June.