Dairy Produce (Price Stabilisation) Bill, 1932—Second Stage.

I move the Second Reading of this Bill. It will be necessary to explain some of the objects and provisions of the Bill in detail although much of the discussion which would have taken place on the Second Reading has already taken place on the Financial Resolution.

The object of the Bill is to try, as far as possible, to give the producer the cost of his production, and also to give butter and milk products to the consumer at the lowest possible price. As the House is aware, a tariff on imported butter was passed by the Oireachtas over two years ago, and if the producers of butter had been absolutely united in their efforts in marketing, if they had only allowed the requisite amount of butter to go on to the home market and put their prices up to the world price plus the tariff, they could, if they were sufficiently well combined, have got the same benefits under that tariff as we propose to give them under this Bill. But they had not the organisation or the combination required to do that. There was the possibility however that such a thing would be done when a tariff was introduced here in November, 1930. Though that possibility was there: that the producers of butter might combine to keep the price of butter both winter and summer at the world price, plus 4d. per pound, there was no far-seeing Minister and no far-seeing Deputy in the House at the time to point out that possibility and there was no objection made on that score to the tariff then.

Now, however, when we bring in this Bill to give the producers the benefit that they might have had under that tariff there is great concern shown for the poor man. We mean, while endeavouring to give the producer as fair a price as possible towards the cost of his production, also to protect in every way that we possibly can the consumers of butter in this country. In the first place, I might mention that while the consumer gets butter comparatively cheap during the summer months under the present system, he has to pay much more for butter during the winter months. We intend under this Bill to make the price of butter level the whole year round. Whereas for the last two years the consumer got butter as low as 1s. 3d. per lb. during certain months in the summer and had to pay as high as 1s 7d. a lb. during certain months in the winter, we mean under this Bill to have butter sold at 1s. 5d. per pound maximum the whole year round.

It is admitted, I believe, by every Party in this House that the industry must be saved. We could, as is suggested in some quarters, save the industry by giving a direct subsidy out of taxation or we could save it as is proposed in this Bill by asking the consumer to pay what is a reasonable price, taking account of production costs and so on, or we could do so by a combination of both methods. Now, as I pointed out on the occasion of the introduction of the Financial Resolution neither I nor any member of the Executive Council can see any hope of raising money by direct taxation to finance this scheme, and I think every member of the House will see that as clearly as we see it on this day week when the Budget comes to be made known. We therefore had to fall back on the only other alternative, and that was the alternative of asking the consumer to pay what was a fair price for butter.

We are told, of course, by many sympathetic Deputies that the poor man will have to pay. Now, if we take the example that was given by Deputy Alfred Byrne, the Lord Mayor, of people who are getting 10/- a week out of which they have to pay anything from 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d. in rent, leaving a sum of 6s 6d. or 7s. 6d. per week to buy food for the father, mother and seven or eight children that the Deputy spoke of, I think that whether butter is 1s. 1d. per lb. or 1s. 5d. per lb. it will not concern the very poor spoken of in this House who are living on home assistance. If, however, we consider amongst the poor the ordinary working man—the man who is at work— then I say that it is a case for serious consideration. We believe that when a person is earning wages in this country that the wage should be, whether it is or not, of a sufficient level to enable him to buy the necessaries of life, those necessaries being produced at the ordinary cost of production. If we have to subsidise butter producers in order that the working man may get butter at a price that he can afford, we may also have to subsidise the production of boots, clothing and everything else in order that he may also be able to get these at a cost that he can afford.

We think that the only safe test to apply is that if we have goods to sell, they should be sold at least at the ordinary cost of production. We hear serious complaints now that we are going to mulct the consumer by putting a price of 1s. 5d. per lb. on butter. That is a rather extraordinary line for people to take. Deputies whose memories must at least go back to 1929 and from 1929 back to 1915— that is, over a period of fourteen years—must be well aware that over that period butter was never sold under 1s. 8d. per lb. We never had a complaint I believe that the price of that butter should have been reduced somewhere below 1s. 5d. per lb. or a proposal in this House or elsewhere that butter producers should be subsidised in such a way that they would be enabled to sell butter at that time at anything under 1s. 5d. per lb. to the working man. Somebody also I think raised a question that under this scheme we are going to supply food to the consumers in Great Britain at a cheap rate.

Now, whether we bring in this scheme or not, the price that we can get for our butter on the British market will have relation to the world price, and it does not matter whether we make it possible for the producer to charge 1s. 1d. or 1s. 3d. or 1s. 5d. per lb. to the home consumer, the butter will be sold in Great Britain, or to any other foreign buyer, at the price that we can get on the world market. We cannot influence that in any way by anything that we may do here.

The price is usually in or about the price of other Colonial butter, such as New Zealand and Australian, although we would perhaps be nearer the New Zealand price than the Australian price. The latest quotation for New Zealand butter on the British market is 102/-. If our creameries were asked to take a price of 102/- on the British market, and if freight and selling costs were deducted, Deputies will see that the future for our dairying industry would show very poor prospects.

With regard to some of the special features of the Bill, we find that the production of creamery butter in the country is somewhere about 640,000 cwts. per year, and that about half that amount is exported and the other half consumed at home, so that the creamery butter pool will enable us to work it, as outlined in the Bill, for some time, at least, by putting a levy of 2d. per lb. on creamery butter and by paying 4d. per lb. bounty on exports. If we export exactly half our production, the 2d. and 4d. will work out correctly. We may find, however, that our production has gone down this year, and that our exports will be less than 50 per cent. of the production. In that case, the levy can be decreased after some time, the bounty remaining as it is, because it cannot exceed the tariff.

There are, however, other considerations that must be taken into account. For instance, there is the question of cream and other milk products, and there is the question of butter being produced during the winter, on which no levy is paid. Roughly speaking, however, if the exports are half the total production, the levy will remain at half the bounty. In the case of factory butter, we have no very reliable figures of production since 1929. In that year, according to the census of production, the output of factory butter was about 167,000 cwts. and we only exported somewhere between 10 and 15 per cent. of that. The factory pool will, therefore, be in a different position. In the factory pool under the Bill we propose to start with a levy of 2d. and a bounty of 2½d., and it will remain to be seen whether after some time this proportion can be maintained or whether it must be altered and the bounty perhaps changed to 2¼d. or 2¾d., as the case may be.

It will be seen also from the Bill that there are certain safeguards for the consumer. Amongst them I might mention that the bounty cannot exceed the tariff. The Minister is given certain powers under the Bill, but he has no power to exceed the tariff by the bounty, so that if there was any desire on the part of the Minister, or the Executive Council, to increase the bounty under the Bill, the matter could necessarily be raised in the Dáil, because, first of all, an increase in the tariff rate would have to be sought. There is also a provision in the Bill enabling the Minister to fix the maximum price at which butter can be sold from the creameries. That, of course, does not go to the retailer or to the consumer, but it is hoped that the Minister for Industry and Commerce will be able to deal with the retail price, so long as we keep the wholesale price below a certain figure. We are convinced and we have been assured by certain traders, and by certain people in the creamery business, but especially by the wholesalers and the retailers, who are more concerned with this question than the creameries, that if the f.o.b. price of creamery butter does not exceed 142/- there is no necessity for the retail price to exceed 1/5 per lb.

There is another thing to be learned from the Bill, and that is that the f.o.b. price from the creamery can only reach 142/- so long as the export price is at 105/-. If the export price exceeds 105/- or goes below 105/-, the f.o.b. price, internally, will go below 142/-. If the export price goes below 105/-, we cannot give a greater bounty than 37/4, so that if the export price goes down to, say, 100/-, the internal price will be 137/4. We must follow the price internally if it goes below 105/-, and if it goes above 105/-, we regulate the bounty in such a way that the internal price means the external price. There was a fear expressed here by some Deputy on the occasion of the discussion on the financial resolution that if the export price were to go up, say, to 115/- we would still keep adding the 37/4 to the internal price, making it 152/-. That is not the case. As a matter of fact, if the export price went up to 115/-, the internal price would come from 142/- down to 132/-. If the export price goes up 10/-, the internal price comes down 10/- to meet it, to 132/-, so that the mean price will remain the same to the creameries. It is, therefore, fairly obvious that an internal price of 142/- f.o.b. at the creamery is only possible when the export price is exactly 105/-. If it goes above, or below, 105/-, the internal price comes down.

It will also be observed that we have to deal with the milk products. Naturally, of course, if we are to give a bounty on butter, and if we were not to deal with bulk cream, tinned cream, tinned whole milk, dried milk, and so on, the inducement would be held out to the present producers of these milk products to go into butter, in order to get a better price. So that we considered that the trade in tinned cream, tinned milk and bulk cream was one not to be neglected and we, therefore, extended the bounty to those products also.

Another provision of this Bill is one that schedules certain creameries from which we are empowered to get a smaller levy than the ordinary levy, and the reason for that was that there are certain creameries which are not in a position to withstand the ordinary competition. The number scheduled is very small. As a matter of fact out of the registered creameries there are only seven scheduled out of a total of 200, and in the case of the separating stations, there are only seven scheduled out of a total of 356, so that as far as the finances of the scheme go the number scheduled will have very little influence. Those scheduled premises must fulfil certain conditions. They do fulfil certain conditions, such as that the premises were erected and equipped during recent years when the cost of construction and equipment was abnormally high, and they had not a sufficient time, while good prices ruled, to pay off some of that large debt which was contracted in the building and equipment. All those creameries are also in districts where the competition from home butter making is very marked and the benefits to be derived by farmers making their own butter under this Bill would have a serious effect on those creameries if we compelled them to pay a 2d. levy and get a 4d. bounty, thereby giving them a net 2d. per pound, whereas farmers making their own butter in the district might have a greater advantage in competition with them. They also fulfil the condition that they are not in competition with other creameries. They are isolated creameries, every one of them.

There are also provisions in this Bill with regard to the restriction of imports and exports. A restriction of imports will be necessary under certain circumstances. For instance, we might use a certain amount of pressure on butter producers to store that butter for winter consumption, and it would be very unfair if, having stored the butter for the winter time, we found that during the winter, owing to a collapse, say, in world prices, butter could come in here having paid the tariff and be sold at an abnormally low price. In that way the power to restrict imports is necessary for the smooth working of the Bill.

There is also power to restrict exports. That is necessary in order to ensure that we have sufficient supplies of our own butter kept here for winter use. There are certain creameries, dealing with the creameries in this instance especially, who do a home trade and keep that connection the whole year round. They store sufficient butter to supply their own customers in the winter as well as in the summer. There are other creameries, however, who do not make the same provision for a winter supply. They are quite prepared to supply the home needs during the summer months, but they make no provision for the winter, and we mean to take power to use pressure on some of the creameries who may not be doing their part in storing butter for the winter time. There are certain financial provisions which make it easy for these creameries to keep butter over much later, also included in the Bill.

On a Second Reading Stage such as this, I do not think that it is necessary to go any more into detail. I think the big principle underlying the Bill is to help the producer to try to get as far as possible the cost of production for his article. Certain other principles which may arise will come up for discussion during this stage rather than the details that are embodied in the Bill. I move the Second Reading.

I would like if the Minister would explain to me a matter that arises under Section 25, Part V, of the Bill. Under that section he has power to prohibit the export of butter. Is it proposed by the Minister to apply that prohibition to a case where a man may be exporting butter under contract? Say, for example, that I have a contract to supply butter in England and that the Minister is of opinion that there is not sufficient butter in this country. Yet, I have a contract to fulfil during the whole year. This means, if it means what it says in Section 25, Part V of the Bill, that my contract will be broken as a result of the Order. Do I understand the section in that way correctly?

The Deputy will understand, of course, that the prohibition of export will not be made a general Order unless under some unforeseen circumstances. It will only be made to apply to certain creameries, so that the fact of a creamery having a contract to supply would, of course, be taken into account.

There is another matter which I would like the Minister to explain in connection with Section 8, sub-section (4). Would the Minister look at the words in brackets? The sub-section states:—

As soon as may be after the seventh day after the date of the passing of this Act the Minister shall make in respect of every person (whether such person has or has not made the said return)....

What is the meaning of that? What principle is he going to adopt?

There are certain persons who may not voluntarily make a return and whom we may have to compel to make a return. For instance, there are unregistered buyers of butter and such people who may not make a return unless we go to them and say: "You have to make a return." We take it that all registered premises will make a return under this section.

Could any other machinery be adopted than making a blind shot at it, or than that provided by this sub-section?

What is the blind shot in this?

Is it not a fact that the only people obliged to make a return are registered creameries?

Oh, no.

Look at the first sub-section.

You are taking two means of dealing with them. You are putting a levy on them because they have not made a return and then you are going to enforce a penalty on them because they have not made a return. You are hitting them with two sticks.

This Bill is, as Deputy Hogan said, probably necessary, or something like it, but there is no use in minimising the seriousness of the Bill. We have to confess that it does involve the addition of some three quarters of a million pounds in taxation on the consumers of the country. It is of course taxation that may disappear when the world price of butter varies sufficiently. But assuming that the world price of butter remains as it is or round about where it is, then the consumers of the country have to pay three-quarters of a million pounds to assist the dairying industry in the difficulties in which it is. They have to pay just as much as if it were levied by way of taxation on tea or sugar or on any other of the necessities of life. And I think it is rather fallacious for the Minister to suggest that it does not involve a serious burden artificially to maintain the price of butter at 1s. 5d. for a long period when, for a long period before the present slump became a fact it had been at top price or higher, because the whole community, one way or another is interdependent. When the world price was higher then our export trade was bringing a greater revenue into the country, greater sums were available for expenditure, and the hardships that are felt as a result of the shortage of money now were not as keenly felt. When the world price is 1s. 1d. it is a hardship on anybody to have to pay 1s 5d. to an extent that it was not a hardship or would not have been a hardship when the world price was 1s. 5d. There is no use at all in the Minister minimising this burden in any way. It is just as much a burden to put a tax like this on as it would be if the price had not been higher in times past. The fact that the world price of this commodity is down has lowered the economic vitality of the whole community and makes it much harder to bear.

It seems to me that the main defect in this Bill is that it does not go further and make sure that the creamery supplier and, in fact, the butter producer generally, will get the full benefit of this burden which is being laid on the consumer. The Bill is the expression of a scheme which was prepared Departmentally before the change of Government, and the previous Government did not adopt the scheme largely because they felt that it was not certain that in the circumstances and as the scheme stood, the person whom it was designed to benefit would get a benefit corresponding to the cost. The Minister is not adding to it, and he has not done what I think, unless arguments that I have not yet heard are adduced, ought to be done. This scheme which, as the Minister has explained, might have been unnecessary if there had been a strong butter marketing organisation, is not complete without that butter marketing organisation.

I feel little doubt that with our unco-ordinated marketing system, or rather the lack of marketing system, when exporters get the bounty of 4d. in the pound there will be an irresistible tendency to go further with the cut-throat competition which very often in the past has lowered the price of Irish butter in the English market, below what it ought to have been. I think that along with this scheme there ought to go some system of centralised marketing that would prevent the occurrence of what I believe is certain to happen—a reduction in the price of Irish butter below what it would be if there was no bounty. Logically, of course, the fact that a creamery manager gets 4d. a lb. ought not to make him willing to take less than he would otherwise take, because the most that he can get in the British market with this 4d. added is not going to be too much for his suppliers or too much to meet the case. But everywhere throughout the world the inevitable effect of bounties has been to cause people to sell somewhat more cheaply than they otherwise would have sold. There are many people who have some experience of this particular difficulty of inter-competition amongst Irish creamery managers who believe that, although the consumer will pay enough to give the creameries a net increase of 2d., it is quite likely that the net increase that the creamery will get as the result of this burden on the consumer will not be much more than 1d.

I do not know whether it is too late —I suppose it is too late now—to incorporate in the scheme, provisions enabling the Minister to have a centralised marketing organisation set up, but I do submit that it is very doubtful whether it is wise to go on with this scheme without that. It certainly will be a terrible thing if the consumer is forced to pay three-quarters of a million pounds to assist the creamery industry, and that the creamery industry will only get something a little over half of that. I do not know whether the Minister thinks that the difficulties of setting up this centralised organisation are so great as to make it impossible. But, at any rate, now that the State has come in, the State has grounds for making everybody concerned in the matter toe the line. If the State were not forcing the consumer to contribute then the difficulties that might have to be met, the jealousies and personal interests that might have to be overcome, might be so great that it would be a thankless, useless, and almost impossible task for the State to deal with this question of centralising the marketing of Irish butter. When the Minister is replying I should like if he would deal with that and tell us whether he has been assured by people who are reliable and who have experience of the butter market, that there is no danger of this competition. And if he is so assured, will he indicate the reason why, in this particular case, the giving of a bounty is not likely to have the effects that we all know the giving of bounties generally has.

I do not want, on this Bill, to touch on matters that we are discussing under other headings these days in the Dáil. The Minister, I hope, realises that prejudice and private action can very well affect the price of a commodity such as this, and that if he is being careful in one respect about the price that our butter will obtain and, if he is willing to tax the community to the extent of three-quarters of a million, he ought to be careful in other respects. It will be very easily possible to make this entire burden absolutely useless to the people whom it is supposed to benefit.

Reference has been made already to the powers to prohibit the export of butter. I think these powers must be exercised very lightly. I do not see why, in the ordinary way, there should be any prohibition of imports. The imports, after all, will have to pay the Customs duty and can only be sold here at 4d. per lb. over the world price, and I do not think they can do any harm. Therefore, in the ordinary way, I do not see why any special steps should be taken to interfere with the normal course of selling and to cause butter to be retained here. I do not see any particular virtue or advantage to anybody in eating cold-stored butter in preference to any other butter, if there is not going to be some gain either to the industry or to the nation. I should like the Minister to tell us something further as to why he thinks it might be necessary in certain circumstances to prohibit either imports or exports. Once we are stabilising the summer and winter price, I cannot see why we should interfere further with the trade in that respect.

Deputy Blythe says that it will be very easy, if we are not careful, to make this proposal quite useless from the point of view of the Irish producer. That may be the Deputy's opinion, but it is not ours. We have stated our position quite clearly, that we are anxious to have the fullest co-operation in all trade matters or matters of mutual interest between Great Britain and ourselves. I cannot see what the Deputy's object is, unless he has some information up his sleeve that he does not wish to give to the House, in telling the country that when the Minister for Agriculture produces a scheme of this kind the whole thing may be useless. Perhaps some of his colleagues, some of the international experts on the opposite side, can tell us what information exactly they have at their disposal which enables them to tell the country that the proposal may be quite useless. I assume that the Irish producer is going to produce for the English market and compete there in exactly the same fashion as in the past. We know that he has been almost driven out of that market, and that the tariff put on by the late Government was not sufficient to keep him in production. We know that, not alone were our dairy farmers going out of production, but that in fact they were selling off cows, and that a very serious position affecting the whole cattle trade would shortly develop if strong steps were not taken to deal with it.

One would imagine from Deputy Blythe's speech that the new Minister for Agriculture is to some extent responsible for this situation. I would remind the Deputy that the Minister for Agriculture and the Government have had a legacy in this, as in other matters, from those on the opposite benches. We know that at considerable cost to the State certain financial commitments were entered into in regard to this industry. We know that a marketing organisation was set up and that it did not prove satisfactory. When the Deputy asks what steps the Minister proposes to take to deal with marketing, I would ask how it was that the late Minister for Agriculture did not deal with the matter? We must remember that it was he was responsible for getting the central marketing organisation going first. If that organisation proved ineffective, as many people think it did, it is Deputy Hogan who should be blamed, if anybody in this House can rightly be blamed, and I do not think anyone can.

Deputy Hogan stated several times that, as a matter of fact, he thought the formation of that particular central marketing organisation was premature and that he was not responsible for it.

When we urged that the Minister of that time should have taken steps to have a system of marketing, we were told that it was not his business to organise the marketing side of the dairying industry; that the dairying people themselves could come together and establish a marketing organisation—a perfectly intelligible point of view. I wonder is Deputy Blythe forgetting that. I am sure the Minister for Agriculture is quite anxious to co-operate with the industry in setting up a proper organisation. We are doing our share if we put this scheme through, and we would naturally expect the industry to take steps to improve its efficiency and organisation, if that is possible. My own belief, however, is that the industry has reached such a serious state that it may not be possible until this scheme is in operation and until we see whether it is going to confer the benefits that we expect on the industry, to suggest to the industry that it should set up an organisation. I do not intend to go into that matter. I take it that it has not escaped the attention of the Minister for Agriculture. I simply state that if we are to have proper organisation we must first put the industry on its feet. That is what we are trying to do; to keep the producers in production; to give them some security in the future, and, if we hold out a promise of that to them, we can afterwards, if we see fit, approach them with regard to the question of their organisation.

The Deputy emphasised the fact that under the scheme there is an irresistible inducement to cut-throat competition between the different creameries. If creameries have learned the moral of recent events, as I think they have, if they understand, as the Minister for Agriculture mentioned in his opening statement, that owing to this competition they have not got the advantages they should have got from the tariffs, perhaps they will be wiser in future. Perhaps they themselves will come together and take the necessary steps. I certainly deprecate putting on the shoulders of the Minister for Agriculture the responsibility here and now of setting up this machinery. The creamery industry ought to be well aware of the position, and while it is up to them to take all reasonable steps, that initiative does not lie with the Minister for Agriculture.

I think that two great matters of importance that the Minister referred to in his statement have been passed over and no reference made to them. It is an extraordinary thing that Deputy Blythe should pass over these two important matters, namely, the question of giving the producer something that will recoup him, that will at least give him back his cost of production, while at the same time guaranteeing, as far as we can, that the consumer will only have to pay a fair price. I have no great fear of the fixing of a certain price at the creamery. I do not think that the Minister for Agriculture need even interfere to the extent of fixing a price, but whatever the price is at the creamery that price will more or less represent the price to the consumer.

The fluctuations of the wholesale price at the creamery, I maintain, will represent fairly the fluctuations in the retail prices. We cannot go further until we have produced to this House the legislation that the Minister for Industry and Commerce is contemplating in the fixing of retail prices. We cannot go further than to say that we believe that with the wholesale price known, and fixed, we ought to be able to go a good way to judge what the fair retail price should be. One cannot disagree with those who lay great stress upon the additional costs that may be brought in respect to the necessaries of poor people, but we cannot separate, in my opinion, one incident in the economic structure of the country from the other and view the particular increase apart from everything else. It is just precisely because we cannot take one single aspect of the matter aside that I think the Deputy who has just spoken is quite wrong when he speaks of lowering the economic vitality of the community.

If the economies preached by the late Government were right then this country should be very happy and prosperous and every other country as well because prices are quite low. Prices, at least as far as I know, of primary products and manufactured articles have reached a very low level, but on the supposition that low prices are an important thing, and are the foundation of economic well-being everyone in the world ought to be very prosperous at present. But the trouble is they are not and these doctrinaire economists who so long filled the seats of power in this country should at least realise the situation which I think is realised in every other country, that unless the agricultural community have money in their pockets to buy the stuff the manufacturer is making, and the townspeople are selling, low prices are unless and economic machinery comes to a standstill. So I say, if we want to attempt to begin wisely we will put money into the farmers' pockets, and that money will come into circulation. In the same way we will be putting money into the pockets of the other producers. In that way we will be doing something. I do not say it will bring about an immediate result, but we will be bringing about a situation as quickly as we can that will enable the poor man to get employment.

I can see no other way in which the poor people and the working-class people will be able to buy anything whether there be low prices under free trade or higher prices under protection if they have no employment. Such a scheme as this is either to keep people in employment who otherwise would have to go out of employment, or to ensure that new avenues of employment will be opened up to them. Therefore, I think there is a perfectly reasonable reply to the arguments that you are putting some dreadful impost upon poor people and having no return given. Something in return is being given so long as the farmers are getting something like a fair price for their commodities. They are enabled to keep their homesteads going and country towns and cities like Dublin going. We all know what a serious effect it has upon the whole trade and industry of the country, with its repercussions on employment, if the farming community are not able to make ends meet.

When the Deputy referred to the fact that this would cost three-quarters of a million I would like to know how he makes up that figure. In my opinion it would cost nothing like that.

Will the Minister say what it will cost?

That is for you to find out.

Surely the Government imposing this charge on the consumer ought to be in a position to know what it ought to cost the consumer?

I am not a prophet, but I am informed that the Department of Agriculture considers that a figure of £400,000 is approximately what the cost may be, but when the Deputy mentioned that this will have precisely the same effect as if it were a tax levied on tea or sugar or some other commodity like that, I suggest that there is this important difference: we cut out administration and the appointment of officials, and we are doing something else. We are setting up a certain scheme which in the future may be handed over to the industry itself to work, or, at any rate, the industry could largely administer under the supervising control of the Minister for Agriculture. I think a scheme of the kind, in which the industry itself takes a hand, is far more valuable than a scheme which depends solely upon State finance and regulations. I hope the time will come when the whole scheme may be administered by the dairying industry itself.

The Minister for Agriculture referred to a number of people in poor circumstances who may not be affected by this Bill by reason of the fact that butter was always out of their reach, and whose weekly income did not bring in that amount which, after paying rent and providing for the necessaries of life, left enough to buy butter even at the low rate at which it stands to-day. I would like the Minister to realise to that extent that in every single town of the Free State, and also to a considerable extent in cities, there is hinging upon this another commodity which the Minister for Industry and Commerce ought to take serious notice of, and that is dripping. I know a lot of poor people fry their bread in substitutes for butter and in dripping, and for that reason I hope the Minister will see that the price of these is not necessarily raised owing to the increased price of butter.

The Minister for Education objects to what he called doctrinaire economists upon other benches in this House. I think we ought to get a clear view of what exactly we are dealing with in this measure. We have been told that the industry must be saved. Both the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Education have spoken about the industry. But no attempt has been made to give us a picture of that industry. We are left to imagine that the industry is the creamery industry. Then we are told in general terms that the dairy industry is involved, and we were told by the Minister himself, when dealing with the financial resolution dealing with this matter, that the industry, whatever it is, is the foundation of our agricultural industry, and, with the branches of agriculture allied to it, responsible for at any rate 50 per cent. of production in the country. So that when we talk of industry like that and feed it with a bit of its own tail and a lot taken from the general consumer, it would be most desirable that we should see to some extent what we are doing. It may be true, as the Minister suggests, that you cannot see what is going to happen exactly under this measure until it is in operation.

If we take it for a moment that it is the creamery industry that is concerned, we are dealing with an industry that is organised in only ten of the Twenty-Six Counties. The creamery industry exists in Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Cork, Kerry and Kilkenny on the one hand, and in Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim and Sligo on the other hand. We take a particular industry whose organisation is particularly represented in these ten counties but which is practically unrepresented in the other sixteen; and by means of a levy on the production of this creamery and other butter and a bounty on exports we are raising the general prices of butter throughout the country as a whole. The Minister for Agriculture suggests that this is going to cost the consumer and the country generally approximately £400,000.

I would like him to say exactly in respect of what does he figure out that cost. Take the figures already given for the purpose of sticking to some figures. The annual production of creamery butter is 690,000 cwts. The Minister spoke of 640,000 cwts. this afternoon, but let us take it at 690,000 cwts.; that the home consumption is 320,000 cwts., and that the other butter produced in the country, what is called farm butter, is 835,000 cwts. The price of farm butter sold throughout the country, not only in the ten counties where creameries are, but throughout the other sixteen counties that are more or less dependent on farmers' butter is going to be affected too. When we come to what it is going to cost the consumer, I am suggesting that the full cost of the levy, that is, 4d. per lb., is going to be added to the price of butter throughout the country and that the home consumption of 320,000 cwts. of creamery butter is going to involve an increased cost of £600,000. The home consumption of 360,000 cwts. of butter, factory butter, is going to involve an additional cost of £670,000, and approximately the 440,000 cwts. of farmers' butter is going to mean an additional cost of £820,000.

In fairness to the measure itself, and so that we may know what is likely to happen under this measure, we ought to have the Minister's arguments against these figures, because that is a very considerable sum, involving £1,487,000 additional cost to the consumer. We are dealing with a measure that I suggest may involve that sum, and as well as that we are raising from the creamery industry this levy of approximately £842,000.

The theory is that this £842,000 is going to find its way back to the industry. By the industry we mean the farmers here who are producing the milk—that the money is to find its way back without getting lost in the way. I take it that increased production in agriculture is wanted, and if we are going to have increased production in agriculture until our population increases here, we must find an outside market for our butter. If we are to find an outside market for our butter, it is, I take it, through the creamery industry that we must find this market. Yet it is pretty clearly suggested that the operation of this measure is going to confine the creamery industry at any rate to these areas where it exists at present, and that it may injure the creamery industry even in some of those areas. The Minister had admitted that particularly in some areas it is necessary to protect the creamery industry against the tendency of the farmers to withhold their milk from the creameries and to make their own butter at home where they can get the full advantage of the increase in price without any levy.

It has been stated that in certain parts of the country where creameries exist that milk has for some time past been withheld from these creameries, and there may be a tendency in that particular direction again. I take it that the powers taken to impose a levy on certain manufactured non-creamery butter are taken for the purpose of protecting the creamery industry against a move in that direction. If that is so, it leaves a large part of the country producing butter and producing milk—not producing it in such a way that it can be of any great advantage in increasing our export trade, and it is asking the consumers of butter in the country to pay an increased price of 4d. per lb. for butter raised in these areas.

Not only are we subsidising the creamery industry in about ten counties, but we are also subsidising to practically the same extent, perhaps to a greater extent, the home producers of butter in the sixteen other counties. If we mean to assist the creamery industry we are up against the question, why, in doing it, should we put ourselves into the position that we will have to help the farmer who is producing butter in his own home, considering as I say that operations of that particular kind cannot be really effective in increasing our agricultural exports? The position is that we are taking about £840,000 from one end of the creamery industry and hoping to put it all back, and we are taxing additionally the consumer in respect of creamery butter. Between factory and farmers' butter we are putting nearly £870,000 additional taxation on the people.

I suggest that that is not really justified. The Minister speaks of that and says that there are other industries that may have to be subsidised too, but if we are in the position, as is often argued, that all other producers in the country are really living on the farmers, and if the farmer has to be subsidised from the pockets of these other producers living on him, I do not know which is the hen or which is the egg in the business at all.

We have seen in Great Britain the tremendous amount of political use that was made of the unemployment insurance money. Millions of pounds were distributed through unemployment insurance in a rather unquestioning kind of way in the form of the dole, perhaps bringing about even additional unemployment throughout Great Britain; at any rate, creating a very confused position there in the matter of employment and bringing about very serious financial conditions. I suggest that there is a danger, speaking in a general kind of way about the farmer, that the farmer is to be put into the position, in this country, that the unemployed person was in England. He is a big, widespread and easy target for political palaver from all Parties, and he is being subsidised and assisted in all kinds of different ways with no clear idea as to what his responsibilities are in the matter, or as to what is the organisation of his industry. We may find ourselves slipping along in the same way, reducing ourselves to a very serious financial position because of the amount of money in a dull kind of way we are taking from the people as a whole, in order to subsidise the farmer.

No reasonable person in the farming industry wants to have that particular position, and it is for that reason that I think we want to have very much more clearly put before us the position of the creamery industry, that we want to have more clearly answered whether it is the creamery industry we want to assist by this particular measure, and what the creamery industry is going to do for itself, more satisfactorily to organise itself. If, as the Minister says, this is a scheme which may later be handed to the industry, to run itself, then it is very important for us to be assured that the industry is properly and efficiently organised. It has been pointed out to us in all kinds of different publications that not only is there very great obscurity as to the cost of producing milk in different parts of this country, and very great differences in the cost of producing milk, but even in the case of turning milk into butter in the various creameries there are very considerable differences too.

The possibilities of economies and efficiencies under central marketing have been touched upon. I do not know that any political party need have anything thrown against it to the effect that they have not brought about a more satisfactory position there. But where the Government is, under this measure, taking a very considerable amount of money to protect the industry, I think they should see that no organisation that may improve the industry will be left unattempted and that no improvement in the matter of handling the inside of the creameries will be left unattended. In some sections it is suggested that this Bill is going to last for five years. I do not know if that is so. I think the period of the Bill, if the Bill is acceptable to the House, ought to be limited so that it will be brought home to the creamery industry—if that is the industry that is concerned here—that this implies that the industry will have to be improved and better organised.

How we are going to have the country as a whole financing the basis of the greater part of our industry here is a thing I do not understand. There is a section that implies that the cost of administering this measure is going to be borne by the Exchequer. That implication is contained in Section 41. I submit expenditure of that kind ought to be taken from the funds that are being put together by this Bill. The expense of administering the Road Fund is borne by the Road Fund itself, and the expense of administering this particular measure, considering the amount of money that is being taken from the general consumer of butter, ought to be borne by the funds put together under this measure.

The principle underlying this Bill is not so much to assist the creameries but to assist the dairying industry in general. The Bill was not brought in for the purpose of assisting creameries; it was brought in in order to give the producers of butter an economic price, to give them the cost of production, and to see that the consumers of butter in this country pay the cost of production to the producers. That is a principle that every Party in this House will agree upon. Producers producing under the best possible conditions are entitled to their cost of production, and consumers are not entitled to purchase goods under the cost at which they can be produced in their own country.

We have not had from the far side of the House the big noises that we had on the last day. On the last occasion Deputy Cosgrave told the Minister for Agriculture that he was ignorant of the principles underlying the measure to be introduced. We have, apparently, a new outlook to-day. There is no opposition to the Bill in the same way as we had on the last occasion. Deputies know quite well that this is a legacy handed over from the last Government. Deputy Blythe wanted to know why it was the Minister did not take powers to set up a compulsory selling organisation. The former Minister for Agriculture knew quite well the condition in which the butter industry was, and he did not take these powers. On several occasions in this House he said it was not his duty and he did not intend taking powers to set up a compulsory selling organisation in order to organise the butter industry. No one knew better than the former Minister for Agriculture the condition of the butter industry.

I think the present Minister and his Department are to be commended for setting out to do something which the last Government absolutely neglected to do although they were aware of the condition of the industry. The present Government have set out to see that the producer gets at least the cost of production. Perhaps it is unfortunate, but I believe it is fortunate, that we are not able to produce butter at world prices. I look upon it as fortunate for this country. The conditions existing in other countries if they existed here might not be for the benefit of the country. In Denmark something like £100,000,000 have been lent by different organisations for the production of butter and other agricultural products within the last few years in order that the people could put cheap produce on the world market. We see these and other industries in Denmark in an unhealthy condition. It would be a bad thing for this country if the farmers were subsidised so that it would enable them to sell butter on the world market under the cost of production. While there may be a difference of opinion as to the price at which butter can be sold, there can be no difference on one thing, and that is that the agricultural community, the producers under the best conditions, are entitled to the cost of production.

That is what the consumers are asked to pay. The producers in any other industry, building or boot making, get their costs of production. They set out to do so, or otherwise they would not be long in production. The farmer must continue in production while other industries can close down or go bankrupt in twenty-four hours. Farmers cannot do that but, according to Deputy Mulcahy, Deputy Blythe and other Deputies, must continue to produce whether it pays them or not. Farmers have no alternative. Deputies suggest that the consumers should get butter at world prices, whatever they may be, even if they are below the cost of production here. The same thing applies to any other industry. In my opinion, any industry that cannot produce at world prices is entitled to protection or to a bounty to enable it to produce. This country was brought to its present condition because we were not able, owing to certain conditions that existed here, and that did not exist elsewhere, to produce goods at the same cost at which they were produced in other countries. That was the outlook of the Government that the people put out of office. It is not the policy of the present Government. It has a different outlook as far as industry is concerned, and that is to enable the producers to get the cost of production here. Deputy Mulcahy stated that the farmers had been helped and subsidised by every section of the community. They are not being helped or subsidised by any section. They are quite capable of producing but they must get the cost of production. Deputy Mulcahy will not deny that they are entitled to that. If the Deputy was engaged in an industry, furniture, boot making, or building, he would not get up in this House and say that those engaged in it should not get the cost of production. No section of the community gets a smaller percentage of return on the amount of capital involved than the farmer. If a man is a builder or the owner of a boot factory, every single item of his costs is taken into consideration and he takes a certain profit, even to the nail in the shovel, which is written down as capital.

Does the Deputy suggest that builders are subsidised by the State?

I do not suggest that they are subsidised by anyone, but they get their costs of production.

What proof have you?

Every proof. I know it. I am not so ignorant as the Deputy thinks about how business is run. I know that if Deputy Coburn was making an estimate of what it would cost to build a house he would want a certain percentage. In fact, if a house being built was inspected every three days during six months he would charge a certain amount of a salary for every hour he spent on the work during that period.

Mr. Brodrick

Are not people very foolish?

The Deputy knows very well that every industry except farming gets cost of production. A row is kicked up when some proposal is made to give farmers their cost of production. This Bill will not "make-up" farmers. It is going to give them ¾d. or 7/8ths of a penny more per gallon for their milk.

It will not give a farthing more.

The Deputy can speak in a moment. The proposal will not "make-up" the farmers. Deputy Gorey says it is not going to give them more than one farthing extra.

Between a halfpenny and a farthing.

If it is not going to give them one farthing more, some other proposal will have to be made. It is ultimately going to cost someone more in order to keep farmers in production. If this Bill does no good, then, if farmers are to produce butter, someone must pay them if the industry is to be kept going. I am giving my own opinion. The same applies to every other section of the community. If this Bill does not help farmers sufficiently, so that they will be kept in production, some other measure will have to be brought in to do so.

One would imagine from the speech to which we have just listened that this Bill was introduced to confer a benefit on the consumers. Deputy Allen told us that the object of the Bill was to enable the consumer to get butter at an economic price, whatever that may mean. I confess I do not know. He went further and informed the House that consumers in this country had no right to get butter under the cost of production. What does the Bill itself mean? That the people in this country have no right to get Irish butter under the cost of production, and that they must pay 4d. per lb. extra so that the people of England may get butter under the cost of production.

That is the fact and I ask the Minister to deal with the point when he is replying.

It is quite easy to deal with it.

It may be. I am putting it to the House that that is the position.

I would ask Deputy Morrissey one question: will he tell the House if the English consumer will pay one halfpenny more for butter whether we send any to the English market or not?

I heard that question before.

Answer it.

The question I am interested in at the moment, as a representative of the workers, is not what is going to be paid for butter in England but what is going to be paid for it in Ireland. That is all I am interested in. I put it to the Dáil that what the Bill means, as Deputy Allen told us, is that the people of this country have no right to get Irish butter under the cost of production. The effect of the Bill, however, will be to make Irish consumers pay 4d. per lb. more so that English consumers can purchase Irish butter under the cost of production. That is the position as I see it. I am opposed to this Bill, although I come from one of the principal dairying counties—if not the chief one, certainly the second best. I am opposed to it because I do not believe it is going to do anything like what is claimed for it for the farmers and, secondly, because it places an intolerable burden on the consumers, and particularly the working classes. As I said on the original Resolution, I would be inclined to say that this Bill could be more fittingly called the Margarine Bounty Bill than the Butter Bounty Bill, because many people, particularly the working classes and the poor in the cities and towns, will be forced to buy margarine instead of butter. I want to deal with the point made by the Minister in his opening speech. He said that many voices were now raised on behalf of the consumers and on behalf of the poor, but that when a tariff of 4d. was introduced by the last Government there was no objection taken. I want to tell the Minister, as far as I am concerned, and I think every other member of the Labour Party, that we voted against the 4d. tariff. We voted for the original prohibitive tariff, which was to meet an emergency and was just a temporary measure. We argued against and voted against the 4d. tariff which was introduced by the last Government.

I do not pretend to know very much about the dairying industry. I am not a farmer, but I am in close touch with the industry, and I am in close touch with many of those engaged in it. I have tried to get information from those who are in a position to give it on this matter. It is suggested to me that the farmers—particularly the dairy farmers—are not doing anything like what they should do, and could do, to improve their own business. I am giving the information as I got it. I am told that the percentage of dairy farmers who are members of cow testing associations is very small. I am told that there are tens of thousands of cows which are not paying for their feeding and which are not worth keeping. I am told that there are farmers, supposed to be dairy farmers, who do not know what return in milk they are getting from any particular cow on their farm. That information may be wrong, but it has been given to me by men in the dairying industry. Two of them, at least, were responsible for starting creameries, as well as cow-testing associations, in their own districts, and they are responsible for keeping those cow-testing associations going. One man feeds 45 cows and sells the milk to the creameries. A man in that position ought to know something about his business. I give the information for what it is worth. If action is to be taken by the Government to "save the dairying industry," which is the phrase used, the action should take another form. This particular method is not, in my opinion, going to help the farmers very much. It will place a very heavy burden on the consumer, and, particularly, upon that section of the community least able to bear such a burden.

The Minister for Agriculture stated that it was the intention of the Government that this scheme should be taken over and worked by the industry itself. I think the Minister would be the first to agree that a scheme of this kind could not be worked very well by the industry as constituted at present. The scheme would have to be overhauled before it could be worked by the industry as it is at present. I am not sure, indeed, that it would not be necessary to devise a new scheme. I hope this Bill will be agreed to, but only as a temporary measure—to last a year, or two years at the very outside. The Bill was quite obviously drawn up in haste. The machinery outlined in the Bill is disjointed in many respects. I am quite sure that if the Minister had had more time to consider the draft of the Bill he would have improved the machinery which he proposes to operate for the purpose of giving effect to his bounty proposals.

There is no doubt that the dairying industry is in a very bad position. It must be assisted if it is to survive. I do not think that this Bill will lead to an increase in milk or butter production but it will certainly preserve the status quo until such time as business improves. Judging by the present trend of butter prices, it is very difficult to say when there will be an improvement in butter or milk prices. This Bill will mean an increase in the price of butter to the consumers but, after all, the farmers themselves are very large consumers. It is quite obviously the policy of the present Government to increase enormously, by means of high tariffs, the overhead charges of farmers and it is only right that they should try to assist them by proposals of this kind which will help to increase the price of one of their main products. Deputy Allen said that one object of the Bill was to guarantee or ensure to the farmer a price for his milk corresponding to the cost of production. I wonder if this Bill will guarantee to the farmer a price corresponding to the cost of production. The increased price to the farmer will not represent the cost of production. Judging by the figures the Minister gave when we were discussing the financial motion, the price will still be, at least, a half penny or three-farthings under the cost of production. This Bill does not guarantee to the farmer a price approaching the cost of production. Expressing my own personal opinion, I do not like the giving of bounties on exports. I think some Deputy pointed out in the debate on the financial motion that such artificial methods of maintaining production inevitably led to inefficiency. That is the experience of most countries where methods of this kind have been resorted to for the purpose of bolstering up production. One valid argument could very well be used in support of this Bill, although it was not used by the Minister—that is, that while guaranteeing bounties on exports is objectionable, the question arises whether we are not forced to give bounties to counteract the effects of the bounties on the export to Great Britain from countries like Latvia, Finland, Russia, and, I might almost say, Denmark. That is an argument which the Minister could very well have used in support of this Bill. In my opinion, it is the only valid argument that could be used in support of it. Butter has, undoubtedly, suffered more than any other commodity as a consequence of over-production in New Zealand, Australia and European countries. It has been affected very severely, as well, by world depression. I fear that for some years to come certain artificial means—drastic artificial means, perhaps—will have to be resorted to in order that our dairy stocks may be preserved and butter production continued.

I imagine that one effect of the Bill will be that we will export too great a part of our produce to Great Britain, leaving too little butter for our own people. This tendency will have the effect of reducing the market price of butter in England, and, to a corresponding extent, neutralising the effect of the bounty. That will be the almost inevitable tendency, and the machinery the Minister has introduced will not obviate that tendency. Deputy McMenamin mentioned that steps can be taken to prohibit the export of butter when there is a lack of butter for home requirements. The idea is, undoubtedly, good, but there is an element of uncertainty about it which cannot but be bad in effect. The chance of a prohibition of exports will make it impossible for our creameries to contract for regular delivery, and if our creameries are not in a position to contract for regular supplies for a period of twelve months or two years—in some cases, I understand, creameries enter into contracts for periods of three or four years—it will operate against them.

If the Minister should, as a consequence of the powers that he is taking to himself in this Bill, take steps to give effect to the sections relating to control of imports, they would have a serious effect, not alone on the creameries themselves, but on the people to whom they sell this butter on the other side. Furthermore, such action would have the effect certainly of producing a very great risk of not being able to obtain definite quantities, or at least not having a guarantee of being able to obtain definite quantities of butter according to contract. Such a situation would be likely to induce buyers in England to offer a lower price than they otherwise would offer for our butter.

There is only one other point that I want to deal with. I think the effect of this Bill, in certain areas at all events, will be to induce farmers to keep their milk at home and sell the butter made from it in the neighbouring towns and villages. That will happen almost inevitably in those areas where creameries were established during recent years, because there is no provision in the Bill for the imposition of a levy on farmers' butter, and rightly so. Because of that, many farmers, in order to gain the maximum advantage out of this Bill, will keep their milk at home, particularly in those areas where they have a certain market for the butter made from it in the nearest towns and villages.

I think no one will dispute the necessity of giving relief to the dairying industry in this country, but the pity of it is that those engaged in almost every other walk of life here are similarly circumstanced. The difficulty the Minister has to contend with in farming the measure, which, undoubtedly, is ingenious, is that he will have to place a levy on a minority in this country, and that at a time when it is least likely to be effective, because with an increase in the price of butter there is no doubt there will be decreased consumption. Those who are not able to afford butter in winter do not buy it when the price of it exceeds their capacity to buy. Therefore, you have to take into consideration that there is likely to be a dislocation in the calculations of the Minister as to how far the levy is going to provide an adequate sum for the bounty.

It has also to be taken into consideration that this is a scheme that could be adopted by other countries exporting butter to the English or any other market if they found it a feasible proposition to do so. A scheme of this kind was ushered in in Australia with considerable acclamation, and there is no doubt but that it was effective at a time when that country was in a prosperous condition. But the present position there is that the levy has had to be increased, while the bounty has had to be reduced owing to a decrease in consumption in the country and also to the fact that there has been an increase in production. I will give the House some figures dealing with the position in Australia. In 1925, when a scheme like this was introduced in Australia, two-thirds of the butter produced there was consumed at home and one-third exported. There was a levy of three-halfpence on the home consumption and a bounty was given on the one-third that was exported. The price jumped from 1/3½ to 1/6½. But as from 14th April, 1931, the levy has been increased by 1¾d. and the bounty has been reduced by 2½d.

There was a fall to 16/3 in the Australian £.

Prior to 1st January, 1931, the bounty on butter was 4½d. and the levy was 1¾d. Between that and 14th April, the bounty was reduced by three successive steps to 2½d., while the levy remained at the same figure. The decrease was brought about by greatly increased production, and, to a lesser extent, by a falling off in local consumption owing to industrial conditions. I think these are factors that should be taken into consideration by the Minister in considering this scheme. I am certainly exercised as to the effect this will have on the cost of living, and on people who are perhaps least able to bear it. I would welcome a scheme like this if some other means for financing it could be found, but under this scheme you will be simply increasing costs in other directions, and those mostly concerned will be unable to bear the increased cost. I would ask the Minister to consider if it is not possible to devise some other means of financing the scheme, at least in part, rather than placing the whole levy on a small section of the community. I take it that the agricultural section will not be asked to bear any portion of the cost of this.

I take it from the speeches that have been delivered that there is fairly unanimous agreement in the House as to the necessity for this Bill. Any criticism that has been levelled against it is really nothing more than criticism, because nothing in the way of alternative suggestions to meet the situation with which the Bill deals has been put forward. Deputy Morrissey and other members of the House, in speaking of the bounty, said that it would lean very heavily on the section of the community least able to bear it—the poor. That may be true, and it is an unfortunate fact if it is true. But what is the alternative to that? Is it not also an unfortunate thing that we have a section of the community whose existence is so near the bread line that a possible increase of a few pence per lb. in the price of the butter may render them unable to buy any further supplies of butter? Is there any Deputy who will suggest that that state of affairs should be allowed to continue? Do Deputies think that the remedy lies in leaving the dairying industry in the condition in which it is at present? It is admitted that those engaged in the dairying industry must of necessity go out of production if some aid on the lines of this Bill is not provided for them.

Last night, the House discussed a tariff on woollens. Deputy Morrissey, if I remember rightly, was one of the Deputies who took extreme care to bring to the notice of the Minister that in any development of the existing industry brought about as a result of the tariff the condition of the workers would be safeguarded to the extent that trade union conditions would apply, and that at least a decent standard of living would be made available for those engaged in the industry. I take it Deputy Morrissey is wide enough in his vision to realise that decent standards of living are necessary for the workman, whether he is engaged as a worker in a city, town or on a farm. Fortunately for Deputy Morrissey, he added that he had little knowledge of the conditions in the dairying industry, but before any man makes a definite statement about any industry he should at least make sure that he knows sufficient about it to justify any statement he does make. I assert that the conditions under which dairy farming is carried on in this country entail for those engaged in it, for their children and other workers nothing better than slave conditions. These are the conditions that some of the Deputies in this House object to having altered, because of the possibility of inflicting on a poor section the hardship of not being able to buy butter to the extent they require it. But there is no suggestion made as to a better remedy, to ensure that these poor people will have an opportunity of buying butter supplies. There is no alternative suggestion made, and it all boils down to this: things are bad, we admit, but it probably may be safer to let things remain as they are, with the assurance that they will end up in bankruptcy, so far as the dairying industry is concerned. That is a poor policy and a poor outlook. I believe, and I am confident of this, that the time has come when this country must make up its mind on the fact, that the great market that we have heard so much about, this great market at our doors, the market we should safeguard, at any cost, has failed to give a living wage to the producer in this country, who is depending for the sale of his products on that market. We are up against the fact that the farmers must make alternative provision, if they are to exist, and that alternative provision is here embodied in this Bill, and in every tariff proposed to apply to industries in this country, which go to make this country more self-supporting and less dependent on that great market, that wonderful boon at our doors that has left our farmers in bankruptcy to-day.

I have nothing more to say on the matter except that there may be difficulties ahead in administering this bounty. It may not be sufficient, or large enough, and I say further that this principle of a bounty for the farmer's products in this country must be extended to many other parts of his production before he is left in a position equal to that of any other workers in the country. Why should the principle of a living wage be applied to one section of the community and denied to another? Why should workers have that protection of a decent wage for a week's work under decent conditions? Why should traders be practically assured of a decent return for their labour and the money they have invested in their business? Why should every class of workers, civil servants and everybody in this country, be guaranteed, and safeguarded by the State, and assured a decent standard of living while working and—many of them—a premium at the end of that in the form of a pension, while for another class working, again, I say, under slave conditions, under sweated labour conditions, no provision is made? This is only the right step, but it is not extended far enough, and I will advocate that further bounties be given to the farmer who produces finished products in this country, and to such a degree as will enable him to produce under a decent standard of living.

When introducing this Bill, the Minister for Agriculture said that he had two objects in mind, first, to give the producer his cost of production and, second, to give the consumer his commodities at the lowest possible price. I do not think that the Bill will produce either of those results. In the first place, it will not go anywhere near giving the farmer his cost of production of butter. Even assuming—and I think it is only an assumption—that the farmer gets the full benefit of the Bill, that is, that he gets, as a result of this legislation, 2d. per lb. on his butter, or its equivalent of about three farthings a gallon for milk, it will not bring him anywhere near the point where his production costs are satisfied.

The Minister quoted the price of butter on the British market as about 105/-, and I think it is somewhere near that price, but it is likely to fall further. The price of milk, roughly speaking, would be somewhere about 3¾d. or 4d. a gallon, and even if we were to get the full results of this Bill, which could only produce ¾d. a gallon, we would only have arrived at the position when the farmers would be getting for their milk anything from 4½d. to 4¾d. a gallon. That is a price at which I hope every Deputy in this House realises milk cannot be produced. The Minister for Education, a moment ago, challenged the late Minister for Local Government, Deputy Mulcahy, that he had not faced up to the position as outlined by the Minister for Agriculture as to the production costs of milk. I do not think anyone desires a discussion on that point at the moment, but if there is any such desire, I would not mind going into the whole matter. We have not got it from the Minister, or from any of the Government Deputies, but we will take one item alone in production costs—the cost of milking. The cost of milking a cow runs anywhere from £6 to £8 a cow. The Minister looks at me in doubt. The Minister for Defence once suggested in this House that a labourer might milk, I think he said, 25 cows.

If we could arrive at that state of affairs, when a labourer would, of his own desire, or through compulsion, milk 20 to 25 cows, we might have arrived at a stage when production costs would be reduced, but unfortunately we have not arrived at that position yet. In my county, which is the principal dairy county in the Saorstát, they milk from 8 to 10 or an average of 9, but we will allow 10. Even though all our costs have increased considerably from one cause or another, and our profits have not only diminished, but disappeared, and we have arrived at the position when not alone is it impossible to make ends meet, but we cannot keep the ends in sight of each other, we have not yet resorted to the extreme step of cutting off our labourers' wages to any great extent.

Milkers are still receiving, in my county, anywhere from £30 to £35 for milking for nine or ten months of the year, and if we add to that, what any Labour Deputy would reasonably assume would be proper provision for those milkers, in the way of food and lodging—even Deputy Davin would not suggest that I should provide for my labourer in such a manner that costs would be lower than, say, £40— and you arrive at the position when the milker gets £75, that is, £40 and £35 for milking, say, 9 cows, you have then arrived at an average of £8 per cow, the figure I gave a moment ago. The average milk yield of a cow is somewhere about 500 gallons, and even making it 600 gallons, at 4d. a gallon, you will reach a figure of 200/- or £10, and the cost of milking alone is from £7 to £8, and perhaps more, off that amount.

The cost of delivery of milk to the creamery, in addition, would certainly take over £2, and it would not do it. The incidental costs, machinery and cans, buckets and tankards, and everything else, would come to a considerable bit more. There would be also, which is a very small item—I am glad the Opposition Party are going to get rid of it shortly—the question of rent. That would have to be put down as bearing some relation to the cost of production. We may be relieved of that. There is also the question of taxation. We are relieved of some of that, and they might relieve us of the rest of it, but, unfortunately, up to the present I have got to take some account of that. These add more than a little to the cost of production of milk. At any rate I have given you figures enough to prove that the milk of a cow which would average at present perhaps something about £10, would only go a very small way to meet the production costs which would run with rent, taxes, rates, labour, incidentals to, roughly speaking, £12 or £13 per cow. I do not intend to say any more on that part of the question.

I am glad that a few Deputies on the Government Benches have at last come to realise—and I think the Ministers are realising it too—that anything we can do here will not increase prices on the outside markets. We have been preaching that for five or six years to deaf ears, and it was not listened to. As I said when I spoke last week, the Ministry are coming to realise their responsibilities and the difficulties of satisfying by legislation every demand of the people. There are in this Bill several sections, and one does not know what the probable result of many of them will be. I might say they are almost paradoxical. One section would lead you to believe that the export of butter might be increased and another leads you to believe that the export of butter might be diminished, or perhaps disappear. Take, for instance, the section which proposes to give the Minister power to stop the export of butter. That in itself will have, I fear, a disastrous effect on the whole creamery industry. A great number of creameries, creamery managers and other people who desire to sell butter across Channel make yearly contracts. They sell butter by contract, contracting to sell it for the year. How is the seller to proceed to make a contract if there is provision in the Bill which permits the Minister to issue an order stopping the exports? The Minister will answer me, probably, that in a sub-section of the section there is a provision that he might withdraw the order and issue a special licence, but there is another sub-section which says that the Minister, even when he issues a licence, might withdraw it in regard to any butter for which it had been granted. I think these are the words, and I do not want to misquote the Bill. That is as far as I could read them.

What is the section?

Section 27, sub-section (3), which provides that if a special export licence is granted the Minister may at any time before a consignment of butter is actually exported revoke the licence relating to such consignment. So that even after having made his contract, with all the extraordinary possibilities facing him, the possibility of the Minister stopping the export by an order and the possibility that he might or might not issue a special licence and that having issued the special licence he might withdraw it before it could be used, where is the feasibility of anybody entering into a business contract to sell butter under these conditions? There is, however, a graver danger possibly that this Part V of the Bill may possibly lead to a dislocation of our whole butter trade with England, because our difficulty in the past has been in competing with foreign countries, the Danes and others, that while they were able to provide for a butter supply the whole year round there was a stoppage of all supplies from this country for a part of the year. The Minister now proposes as a safeguard, though it is dangerous otherwise to take power at any time to stop the export of butter, to stop the continuity of supplies in a market in which we find it very hard to keep our feet. Part V of the Bill, to my mind, if it does not require to be deleted, requires particular attention. It was necessary, I suppose, for the Minister to make some provision that all the butter would not be exported. I pointed out that difficulty in my speech on the motion originally, and I also said, I think, that the Minister would find very much difficulty in putting any such proposal as that into effect. He has attempted to put it into effect by giving himself this power. I am very much afraid that in removing one evil he will create another evil that will be disastrous to the whole dairying industry.

I said in the beginning that I did not think we would reap the full advantage proposed in this bounty, that is, 2d. for the farmer. I believe that possibly nobody can forecast what the eventual benefit to the farmer will be. Certainly it will not be 2d. The utmost it could be would be 2d., but in practice it will be found that it certainly will not be 2d., possibly only half of it. If they get a penny advantage out of this they will be very lucky.

Who will get the other penny?

I will explain that in a minute if the Minister will give me an opportunity. They will certainly gain a possible advantage. The Minister says it will be 2d. I say half of it. The tendency will be, as Deputy Roddy stated a few moments ago, with a fourpenny bounty, for farmers to export not half, which the Minister assumes they will, but the greater portion. Why? Because they will have received the direct benefit of 4d. a pound bounty that they would receive by keeping butter for the winter and incurring storage costs and other costs. It is to get rid of that tendency that the Minister has brought in Part V of the Bill. There would be that tendency, so that when they exported more than half their butter the levy provided could not possibly provide a bounty of 4d. In that event they could not receive the 2d. per pound which it is proposed to give them. Take another event, that they do not export half and that all the consequences I am prophesying do not happen. What is going to happen in the home market? Does the Minister really tell us that because there are certain sections in this Bill the farmers must receive that 2d. on the portion consumed at home? There will be a tendency particularly as butter soars in price for people who usually eat creamery butter to purchase substitutes. I am not saying that they will go in for margarine. The very poor probably will be driven to margarine but the ordinary consumer will be driven to the purchase of butter such as farmer's butter. And the farmers selling butter directly to the consumer or to the small retailers will have the benefit arising as the result of this bounty without having to contribute anything to it. So that when the creamery producer says that his butter must go up 4d. the home producer says: "I do not want 4d. I only want 2d." And he will be glad to get 2d. so that he will be a competitor with the creamery in the home market and will almost inevitably reduce the price in the home market. There is no possibility of the farmer getting 2d. out of this Bill. The factory butter people who, if their pamphlet which I have seen is correct, at the present moment export nearly all their butter will also be anxious to cater for the home market and undersell the creameries. They will have the levy, I admit, of 2d. They will have that advantage over the farmer selling his own butter. They will be in this favourable position as regards the seller of creamery butter, that while the creamery manager or the committee whose object must be that the farmer must get the benefit of whatever butter he sells—the seller of the factory butter will be in this position that he is paid his 2d., and he is paid for his butter as well. He has paid the farmer for his butter and he has no more to pay. He can stick to whatever he gets beyond the 2d.. He might possibly get 3d. reducing by a penny the utmost possible advantage which the Minister says the farmer might get out of this Bill.

I said at the beginning that I am going to support the Bill, not because I think this is the best method of helping the farmer. I can conceive other ways of helping him which would be better. I may say that what this Bill proposes to do, with all its manipulations and all its sections, could have been done and the same effects could have been brought about without this Bill if the farmers and the creameries and the sellers of butter had combined. They could have brought about, without legislation, the full results that the Minister hopes to get from this Bill. I think the Minister himself admitted that in his opening remark.

I said it.

And I say it too. But still, on the other hand, you throw the accusation at us that we made no effort when in office to help the dairy farmers.

A Deputy

You did not.

Who imposed the tariff of 4d?

Who imposed the tax of £3 a cow on them?

I am not a Minister. I am only answering the Minister's question. I say that the effect designed by this Bill could have been brought about without any Bill at all or any legislation if the people were wise enough to combine and take the full benefit of combination. And this Bill is really only an attempt to put into operation the tariff imposed on the consumer of butter.

That is all.

And to give effect to a tariff in the summer as well as in the winter?

That is right.

A result which the farmers and the producers of butter in this country could have brought about for themselves if they had combined, if they had any foresight in their own business, and if they had done what some of us have been asking them to do for their own sakes for years—that is to combine voluntarily.

Why did you not compel them?

There is too much compulsion in this country inside as well as outside.

You are beginning to discover that since you came into opposition.

I have not been a great believer in the efficacy of tariffs or bounties as a help for agriculture. But in these days of mounting tariffs, when everything that the farmer buys or needs is rising in price, we, as representing the farmer, will not be blamed if we grasp at any straw that helps him over the difficulty. And it is because this measure proposes, in some small way, to help the farmer that I am supporting it, but I do so much in the same spirit that I supported the tariff on butter—rather in hope than in expectation.

The proposals contained in this Bill aim at giving a minimum of 4½d. per gallon to the suppliers; and in so far as the Government are proposing to give what we look upon as a guaranteed minimum price to the producer, we certainly support that policy. They also hope—and I am not quite sure whether it is a pious hope— to fix or in some way regulate the price of butter so that the minimum average price will not exceed 1/5 per lb. I am not by any means satisfied that the proposals contained in this Bill will secure the object which the Government Party are out to achieve. I am not satisfied that, through the machinery provided in the Bill as it now stands, production will be maintained at the existing level, and that the dairying industry in its present disorganised state will be able to hold its own in the export market. It is laughable to hear Deputy Blythe, as an ex-Minister, making a case for the establishment of an organised marketing machine, especially as he, as an ex-Minister, is mainly responsible. with his colleagues in the last Government, for the collapse of the Associated Creameries, which was the marketing system in operation at the particular period.

In what way?

Because they did not take the necessary steps to organise the marketing machine or maintain it for the purpose of selling butter on export.

What were the necessary steps?

The Deputy can draw his own conclusions. He knows more about the disorganisation, and he is more responsible for the existing state of affairs than any people on this side of the House at any rate.

State the circumstances.

I believe it is wrong for the Government to raise, through taxation, or by the imposition of additional taxation on the butter consumers of this country—to raise from them by way of increased prices taxation of this kind and to set it aside for this purpose. I do not believe that the position of the butter export industry can possibly be maintained even at its present decreasing level unless we have some central marketing machine for that purpose. The people who look for Irish butter and Danish butter in Britain to-day are huge buying concerns like the Co-operative Wholesale Society, whose turnover is something like four hundred millions a year, or like Lyons, the great catering firm, who cannot afford to send travellers over to this country in sufficient numbers, and send lorries around to each individual creamery to collect butter and other commodities in small quantities. They are buying in increasing quantities from Denmark, Australia and New Zealand to-day at the expense of this country, because this country cannot supply large quantities of the quality required. There is no future for the butter industry in the British market unless we adopt the methods adopted by Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. Why should the ordinary butter consumer be asked, as he is being asked in this Bill, to subsidise people who will not do business in a proper way? Why should the State come to their assistance? That is what is being done in this Bill. I think we are entitled, speaking for some section of the consumers who are likely to suffer as a result of the Bill, to an assurance that some steps will be taken by the Government either to induce or compel the people in the dairying industry to regulate their business in a proper way. It is very little use for Deputy Blythe, after being only six weeks an ex-Minister, to criticise the present Minister from the point of view of his failure to set up a central marketing organisation. He and his colleagues who were in office for ten years failed to appreciate the circumstances, with the result that the dairying industry is in a dying condition to-day.

It is proposed by this Bill to subsidise the industry at the expense of the consumer. The members of the Labour Party do not like this scheme. Deputy Maguire suggested that no alternative proposals had been put forward. We say that if this industry is to be maintained out of taxation, direct or indirect, the proper way to raise the money is by taxing luxuries and amusements and looking in some other direction for the money that must be found to keep that valuable industry on its feet, even for a limited period. We are, I admit, at a disadvantage in discussing the measure, so far as we have not before us the Budget proposals. I should like to know whether luxuries and other amusements are likely to be taxed, whether, for instance, there is likely to be a tax on betting or picture houses, and any other form of amusement or luxury before we are asked to tax the consumer in the way proposed. We are at that disadvantage, but we have this advantage, that the remaining stages of the Bill will not be discussed in the House until we have heard from the Minister for Finance what is contained in the Budget. To that extent there is an advantage, and for that reason the members of the Labour Party will give a conditional Second Reading to the Bill.

The Minister in his speech indicated, and, of course, I can appreciate the circumstances, that almost everything else is likely to be taxed, and that there is no hope, or very little hope, at any rate, of raising the sum necessary to help this industry in the way he is anxious to do it through the Budget. I put this to him however: is there no possibility of even finding part of the money required by direct taxation either now or at a later period in the present financial year? What is the purpose of imposing an additional price on the consumers of butter and leaving the £60,000 odd received by the revenue from imported butter to go to relief of taxation? I say that the £40,000 or £60,000 derived from the tax on butter should be put into a pool for the purpose of reducing the amount raised by the levy. In the ordinary course of events we do not expect a revenue from the tax on imported butter. If a revenue is accidentally received, it should be set aside under existing circumstances for the creation of a pool to reduce the amount raised by levy. If conditions improve during the present financial year, I suggest to the Minister and the Cabinet that it might be possible to raise other moneys to be set aside in the same way for the reduction of the amount raised by the levy.

I want to make another suggestion on behalf of the Labour Party. This proposal of propping up this industry by way of bounty so that it will be able to send out of this country certain quantities of butter with £800,000 of the Irish people's money is a dangerous and risky experiment, and that experiment should be limited to the shortest possible period. On behalf of the Labour Party, I suggest that the life of this Bill should be limited to a period of one year, at the end of the year we should be in a position to review the conditions prevailing. In the meantime, I suggest to the Minister and his colleagues that they should use all the influence which they can bring to bear for the purpose of inducing the creameries to go into one central marketing organisation, and failing their willingness to do so of their own accord, I personally am in favour of compelling them to go into that central marketing organisation, believing as I do, after carefully considering the situation, that there is no hope for the industry maintaining exports at the existing level unless there is some machinery for the purpose of marketing the butter on the British market.

I am informed that with the existing disorganised state of the industry, if we go on as we are going to-day, the creameries are competing against one another for the sale of their butter on the British market. That is a disastrous state of affairs in itself and reacts to the disadvantage of the whole industry in the country and should not be allowed to continue. The members of the Labour Party appreciate the fact that the Minister has not been very long in office, that he has not had time at his disposal to consider all these questions with a full realisation of their consequences. I am, however, firmly convinced that this is a dangerous, risky, and very doubtful experiment, and should be limited to the shortest possible period. I appeal to the Minister to put a clause into the Bill limiting its operations to one year at the very most, and give whatever Government is in existence an opportunity of reviewing the position at the end of that period.

This Bill demands the united opposition of Longford and Westmeath Deputies, regardless of Party, owing to the fact that there being no creameries in these counties, and therefore no export of butter, the people there are going to be heavily penalised without any corresponding advantage. The purpose of the Bill is to benefit creameries in Limerick, Cork, and other counties, and, incidentally, to supply cheap butter to John Bull, whom the Party opposite profess to despise so much. I am sure the Minister for Agriculture is genuinely interested in the farmers, and I want to put it to him that at the present time there is a growing hostility to Irish produce in the British market. At the Spring Show to-day I was speaking to several people who had come over from England and they told me that in many shops in England at present there are placards displayed, "No Irish produce stocked here." I suggest to the Minister that he should draw the President's attention to the effect that the policy which is being adopted by him is going to have on this country in connection with the only market that we have to sell our products. Even if there were creameries in the counties I represent I would oppose this Bill, because to tax a food that is of the first importance to every household is a wrong policy. I have had some hard things to say of the Labour Party. I was going to say that I believed they would vote for the Bill when I saw them coming out of the Lobby. I am not going to say that now on account of Deputy Davin's remarks. It is perfectly evident from his remarks that the Bill will have to be withdrawn, because Deputy Davin represents here a Party who can dictate policy. I have sufficient confidence in the Labour Party to believe that they will not allow the Party opposite, who think that the people of this country can live on politics, to drive the people into bankruptcy and starvation, because that is their present policy. I am persuaded that if the Irish farmers are deprived of the British market we would not be able to exist, and then unemployment and all the other troubles due to scarcity of money will be brought about. I have a sensible suggestion to make with regard to that matter, and I want an answer to it. The Party opposite state that they are going to retain the Land Annuities.

Very well, and you say you are going to give them back to the farmer for his benefit. Why not pay this subsidy out of the Annuities? That will prevent the poor people of the country from having to pay 4d. on each pound of butter.

Is Deputy Shaw supporting the retention of the Land Annuities?

We are not discussing the Land Annuities.

If the Party opposite are able to pinch them I do not object.

Are you going to support the idea of retaining them here?

I will tell you something about that, and that is that you will not collect them at all now. I was talking to a man the other day and he said: "I am in favour of retaining the Land Annuities, and, to show a good example, I am going to retain mine now."

You will not retain yours or at least you will have to go to Mountjoy if you do.

They are going to Mountjoy if they do not pay?

If you do not pay, you go to Mountjoy; and no parcels either. We got none.

Having heard what the Minister stated I am satisfied, but that is not what the people were told at the General Election.

There is one thing I want to object to in this Bill, and that is the principle of socking it on the poor every time. We are continually being told in connection with theoretical discussions, and in connection with public discussions on public platforms, that we have a burning solicitude for the poor, but when it comes down to tin-tacks and it comes to saying to the poor in this city and in other cities and in the country, that because the Minister for Finance is not prepared to face the Dáil with the financial resolution requisite to finance the operations of the Minister for Agriculture, then we sock it on to the poor and let the poor pay; or, as Deputy Briscoe said a few nights ago, we will so arrange matters that by reason of the price of butter the poor will have to eat margarine.

I do not think that Deputy Dillon is wilfully trying to misrepresent what I said, but——

Deputy Dillon must be allowed to make his speech.

What I said was that there was too much hypocrisy in opposing this measure by saying the poor are being robbed of butter. What I did say was that the poor of this city, up to the present, have not been able to buy butter at any price, and so they are existing on margarine, and I repeat that now——

That is the very point I was making. Whose fault is it that they have to live on margarine?

The people you are supporting.

I do care. I am not supporting either one Party or the other. I say this: We are told again and again that we are all going to protect the interests of the poor regardless of Party. Yet you put 4d. per lb. tariff between you on butter. I do not know which of you did that. Now you are going to put another additional levy on butter, and the net result is that whereas butter would have cost the poor in Dublin and other parts of Ireland 1/- per lb., they are being asked to pay 1/5. That is the net result of your tariffs. Who is responsible I do not know. All I know is that this Executive Council is going to put another tax on. I was glad to hear Deputy Davin's emphatic protest, and I join with the Labour Party most cordially and say there is an emergency. It is admitted we must raise money to subsidise this industry, if it is to survive. This is an emergency, and we accept this as an emergency measure. But the sooner it is considered calmly in the light of Budget resources, and alternative sources sought for, such as taxation of amusements and luxuries, or even other forms of food, such as tea, the better it will be for the country. No one knows better than the Minister for Agriculture how vitally necessary butter is, particularly for the children of the poor. No one knows better how valuable an article in their diet it is, and I depend upon him and the members of the Executive Council to address themselves to the task of finding revenue to finance this business somewhere else than on butter, which is practically a vital necessity for the people of this country.

Will Deputy Dillon define to this House what he understands by the description "a poor person?" For the purpose of debate, I was anxious to find out if he disagrees with me on what I understand a poor person to be, so that I may understand his point. What I understand a poor person to be is a person out of employment living upon relief. I do not look upon a person in employment with a reasonable standard rate of wage as a poor person.

That is surely a question for Deputy Briscoe and myself to discuss outside in the lobby. There is one class of poor person, and that is a person who may have a St. Vincent de Paul ticket for a quarter-pound of butter and who is now being told to do with margarine.

While I do not presume to say that I know every phase of the dairy industry, I would like to say that from my experience and what has come to my knowledge of the manner in which that industry is carried on at present, it is only an incentive to indolence and idleness. I might remind the House that when 4d. a pound of a tariff was given as an advantage to the dairy farmers of the country one would think that such advantages might be sufficient to enable them to carry on their industry successfully if they were endeavouring to do so efficiently. The county from which I come is not one where there are many dairies. I am glad of it from what I have seen of the dairy industry elsewhere. I wonder where we are going to stop? Where does the agriculture farmer come in? Is the poor farmer in Mayo to have any consideration? Why not try and find something to subsidise the production of potatoes, oats, mangolds, etc.? Why should they not get some consideration? We have the sugar beet subsidised at considerable expense, and, while I do not complain, I think it is time that a note of warning should be sounded with regard to what the consequences may be to people situated such as those are in Mayo and Galway. There is no prospect or likelihood of dairying being carried on there. I may add it is not so long since I was speaking to a parish priest in the constituency I represent. It was suggested to me by some people previously that it might be advisable to start dairying in the locality.

His words to me were: "If you take my advice, Mr. Davis, and I have some experience, for I came from a district where dairying was carried on, you will not touch this thing. I would advise the people to have nothing to do with it. It will be quite all right as long as it can be carried on on successful lines, but it carries in its train a great danger. There are poor people, and at the time when milk is plentiful they are not going to do anything but what is all right, but when milk becomes dear and when it becomes more profitable to them to dispose of the milk they may dispose of the milk at the risk of neglecting their own children." These are the words he used, and I certainly consider that these words came from somebody—from a parish priest who had considerable experience in a matter like that. If you see a creamery in the neighbourhood of a town you see men from four or five miles outside the town coming in there who will, possibly, spend the greater part of the day in the town, and I do not know that they would spend it well. I do not know that it would be any advantage to these men or to their homes that that creamery was there to tempt them along that road to waste their time instead of carrying on their work at home.

I wonder if some of those who carry on the dairy industry produce on their farms the necessary supply of food to feed their dairy stock? It does not surprise me to see the representatives from various constituencies, from counties where the dairying industry is carried on, and where the people live almost exclusively from the dairy industry, speaking in support of this Bill. I wonder what do these people do really in the way of agriculture, what employment do they give except the employment given to a few men to milk their cows? What is it they do? Many of them, certainly in some districts in the neighbourhood of the town, have to purchase the potatoes they require for their own homes, and possibly they have to purchase other things as well that they should grow on their farms. And we are told that we must all stand up and prop up the dairy industry, and that the poor man in the congested districts in the West of Ireland, who can ill afford to make any contribution to a thing like this, must have a levy placed on him or a tax placed on him for this Bill. That man will, unfortunately, be hurt very much by the Bill. He will be under duress, to use a much quoted word. I did not object to the tariff of 4d. per lb. given to butter some time ago. That ought to be quite sufficient to indemnify the dairy farmer against any risks with regard to the success of his industry, and now we see the Minister for Agriculture introducing this measure. I dare say he is doing so in order to meet the wishes of the many deputations of people who are pressing this matter, and perhaps he thinks it may be to his advantage to meet them. But when it comes to a bounty of 4d. per lb. to enable the sellers of butter to sell butter cheaper in England than in Ireland I do not stand for it and I do not think that eventually any body of people in Ireland will look upon it as an advantage.

I do not think that any man who has a sense of fair play will not realise that in passing this Bill he is inflicting on the poor the greatest injustice and hardship that it is possible to inflict. Any fair-minded man who considers this will say that the Bill is one that should not be passed. Personally I consider the Bill is more than absurd. It is the very limit in injustice. I think it is an injustice to the poor. Any industry that requires to be propped up in that manner is an industry that will be proved by time to be very rotten indeed. The result of such a measure as this will be of no advantage to the people of this country and no advantage even to those whom it is supposed to benefit, because they will cease to be self-reliant. They will in future depend all the time on these subsidies. No matter what Government is in office they will look to that Government to do something for them in their business, when all the time they should be doing better by relying on themselves.

Is it not quite reasonable that the dairy industry like the general agricultural industry of the country should stand on its own feet? The dairy industry should at all events endeavour to do so as far as possible. But we are told now that that is out of the question. Naturally the support for this Bill is very strong from the representatives of constituencies where the creamery industry is mainly carried on; but people representing counties such as I do, must find it their bounden duty in the interests of the general public, and most particularly in the interests of the poor people, to oppose a Bill like this. I ask Deputies to say that there should not be inflicted on the mass of the poor people a burden like this. The people of the country should not be burdened with this heavy tax on the butter they have to purchase. This is a tax that is bound to be very injurious to themselves, their children and their homes. These are matters that Deputies should take into consideration. I have no great prejudice at all in this matter. I want to do what is best for the country. I supported the tariff of 4d. per lb. last year on butter, but beyond that I cannot see my way to go.

May I intervene for a moment? May we get agreement as to the time at which this debate will conclude, because I take it we would require one and a half hours on the other Bill? We could talk on this Bill for two days, but I rather think that it would be better to fix a time limit now. I take it the Minister for Agriculture will require some time to speak on this measure.

I could conclude the debate in ten or fifteen minutes.

I respectfully suggest that in this important matter there should be no time limit.

There was agreement to-day that we would be able to get to the Committee Stage of the Constitution (Removal of Oath) Bill by 9 o'clock. We have not asked to take Private Deputies' time, so that we have only up to 9 o'clock in which to get through the Constitution (Removal of Oath) Bill. If other matters are to be got through it would be better to finish this within, say, half an hour.

If there is general agreement.

As far as I am concerned, I will not occupy the time of the House.

If there is some common understanding between Deputies that they will limit their speeches to ten minutes we might be able to arrange the matter.

Can we get an agreement that this is to be finished by 7.30 o'clock?

I would like to have that.

If the House wishes to come to a general agreement in the matter to close the discussion at any particular hour it can do so.

Would the House agree to the Minister concluding the debate now?

We would like to take the division on the Second Reading not later than 7.30.

Suppose we get agreement on limiting speeches to five minutes?

I think we would be able to manage it in that way.

I do not intend to take up much time. I have listened with some amazement and a great deal of amusement to the statement made by Deputy Davis. He said that County Mayo is not a dairying county. I wonder is Deputy Davis aware of the fact that for 20 or 25 years a very successful co-operative creamery has been working in the Ballaghaderreen district and it embraces a large number of suppliers——

The Deputy is now speaking about Roscommon.

That creamery has a large number of suppliers and quite a large number come from County Mayo. In addition to that we have creameries set up in South Mayo and they have been working for the last three years. I think the Minister deserves to be congratulated on the action he has taken. He is making an honest and practical effort to keep the dairying industry alive. As a representative of the farmers in my area who are suppliers to creameries, I heartily welcome this Bill.

I represent one of the greatest dairying counties in the Free State. I would be very much surprised to hear a dissatisfied or a discordant note over the introduction of this Bill. In County Limerick, the dairying cattle are passing out and the industry is not progressing. This Bill will give much-needed assistance. Deputy Morrissey told us of an interview he had with two farmers in County Tipperary. Their opinion was that the present condition of the industry is due to inactivity on the part of the farmers. I say that the opinions of the two farmers to whom Deputy Morrissey was speaking do not represent the opinions of the big bulk of the farmers in the county.

Deputy Morrissey is very concerned about labour. If the dairying industry goes down labour will be the first to suffer. This Bill, in my opinion, will go farther to solve the unemployment problem than any measure that has yet been brought before the House. The Opposition have told us that similar schemes have been before them at other times and they would not consider them. I say that if they did not consider them they gravely neglected an important branch of agriculture and that is why they are now on that side of the House. This Bill may not completely solve the problem of the dairy farmer, but it will be a very helpful instalment and it will enable the farmers to go a long way towards making their position economic.

I intend to follow the example of the last two speakers and I will be as brief as I possibly can. I opposed this measure when it was introduced and I have not heard anything since that would tend to alter my attitude in relation to it. I deprecate the tone that has run right through this debate. One conjures up the Irish farmer as being some miserable, anaemic creature who has no initiative and is a mere sapling who has to be spoon-fed by tariffs and bounties. The Deputy who spoke last is not a great example of the starving farmer we have heard about. I entirely deprecate that tone.

One's eyesight must be deceiving when one is peregrinating through the country seeing evidence, not of great prosperity, but certainly not of much poverty amongst the farming classes. Acute poverty there is in the cities and towns. The passage of this Bill, in my opinion, will intensify and make more acute that poverty. In the worst state a farmer can ever reach in this country he is always assured of two things, a roof over his head and enough to eat. The workers in the cities and towns, if they fall into arrears of rent, have no sympathetic Land Commission to go to. They have, instead, an unsympathetic rack-renting landlord who throws them on the street if they fail to pay their rent. If the town dweller meets with a long period of unemployment, what is the position? He has to throw himself on the tender mercies of the home assistance officers. It would be most interesting to know how many farmers, small or big, tillage or dairying, are drawing home assistance in this country.

They are well entitled to it.

There are many farmers whom I know. They are hardworking, industrious men who want to be let alone, and who want to keep their business out of the maelstrom of Party politics. I know creameries in my own area and I know the farmers supplying those creameries. They have not got what you might describe as a bed of roses. They have been up against bad times during the last couple of years; but there were many years when they had prosperous times, many years when they experienced all the luxuries of prosperity. Undoubtedly, they have fallen on evil times. Once you begin to educate the farmer into the principle enunciated here to-day by speaker after speaker, that he must make the least possible effort to earn a livelihood so long as he can be spoon-fed by the State, you are not going to build up a prosperous State. You will have instead a race of anæmic people who will not make an effort on their own behalf without some assistance from the State.

Did the farmers receive the benefit of the last tariff? Did the milk suppliers receive any benefit? They did not. A number of cute persons in this country did. They were able to buy the butter from the creameries at 110/- and 120/- per cwt., and they put it into cold storage and sold it later at 150/- and 165/-. These are the facts. I received a telegram from a body of persons engaged in the manufacture of butter, and I would like Deputies to hear the contents of it. There is another side to this butter question. There is the factory end. The factory gives a good deal of employment. The factory end will be affected by this tariff. In the telegram I received there are some names that have for me a very familiar ring. The telegram reads as follows:—

At fully representative meeting of the Home Dairy Butter Exporters held this day—

that would be over a week ago

—the Dairy Produce (Price Regulations) proposals have been fully discussed. The exporters, after mature consideration, decided that proposals are unworkable and are of no advantage to the farmers making home-made dairy butter. Irish Butter and Exporters Association, Ltd.; C. Murphy & Co., Ltd.; Central Packing Company, Ltd.; O'Mullane Brothers; John Reidy & Co., Ltd.; Dowdall, O'Mahoney & Co., Ltd.; Charles Daly; Charles Nolan and Sons, Ltd.; Henry Paul & Co.; D. Cleary & Son; James Daly and Sons, Ltd.; William Warner, Ltd.; C. O'Leary; J.M. Slattery & Sons, Ltd.; T.S. Prendiville; Paxman and Co., Ltd.; E.E. Whitaker and Co., Ltd.

All these people are engaged in the manufacture of butter. I know some of the signatories to this document. They are strong supporters of the Party opposite and, as I said, some of the names have rather a familiar ring. I am sure Deputies will agree with me that the name of Mr. Dowdall is one. (Laughter.)

The name is a tribute.

"The empty laugh betokens the vacant mind." These are all men of standing in the country who are associated with the industry and give a good deal of employment. That is another side of the question that I respectfully submit to the consideration of the Minister. A Deputy for Mayo told us that a creamery is working in his area and that it gets supplies from, amongst other places, Roscommon. That is to be used as an argument for the imposition of this tariff. Because in a scattered area a creamery has a turnover of a couple of thousand pounds yearly, the poor of this country are to be called upon to pay 4d. extra per pound for butter. You are going to inflict on the infant life and on the adolescents of this country, to whom butter is a necessity, a further injury. I opposed this Bill in the opening stages, and I will continue to oppose it, because I have heard no argument adduced to show why there should be any change.

We are beginning to see the conflict of interests over this proposal. Deputies who, yesterday, were in full support of a tariff on the machinery which meant a big impost on the overheads of the agricultural community, now see things from another angle. The men who were enthusiastic about tariffs on agricultural implements, tariffs on woollens, on boots, in fact on everything that the agricultural community used and did not produce, and which raised the cost of living considerably, are now up in arms against this proposal. There you have the conflict of interests. It will begin to dawn on Deputy Allen and farming Deputies, I think, what tariffs will mean to the farmer. The very few industries that could be helped in which the farming community are interested are so small and there is so much opposition that they are represented by what I said here a few years ago. Take, for instance, a 4d. loaf as representing a tariff policy. The most the farmer could expect out of that from tariffs, even if he got his full share, would be a crumb of the crust, and a good many Deputies stand up here and deny him that crumb. I am surprised at some of the remarks that were made even from this side of the House. We heard the words "indolence" and "idleness" used. There is no foundation for the use of such words in regard to farming. I have spoken to men in business at the other side of the water and they admitted that Irish butter is as good as any butter in the market, that it is as good as New Zealand or Danish butter. There is no evidence of idleness or indolence. I suppose the remarks were made by those who do not know the circumstances.

Deputy Davin, in his speech, said that he wished to oppose this Bill but did not like to do it. He gave as his reason that he would like to get at it from another angle, that farmers have not regulated their business in a proper way. It was not the fault of the farmers or the creamery committees if the selling organisation that was established a few years ago went to the wall. The farmers and the farmers' committees had nothing to do with that organisation, and they certainly had nothing to do with the break up of it. There was another organisation, some of whose members did break it up—the Creamery Managers' Association. There were at least enough of them there to wreck the whole scheme. I suppose if a vote of the Creamery Managers' Association was taken, a majority would be in favour of the Associated Creameries. They made the position impossible.

I paid some attention to the matter and I am convinced that nothing short of State control and law will compel all the creameries to come in. Even if the industry is controlled by the State it would be no gold mine. Very little, if anything, more than is being got now could be got, but there would be more co-ordination. The price per cwt. will not be improved more than a shilling or two per cwt. As a matter of fact, some of the people who remained outside the organisation a few years ago claimed that they got more money than the Associated Creameries got. If there is State control it is not going to give them much more than they are getting.

This is called a bounty. It is not a bounty at all. The State is going to contribute nothing except whatever costs will be incurred by the Department. The fund is being made up by a levy on creameries and factories. They have to pay 2d. for every pound produced during eight months of the year. That 2d. will go to create a fund that will pay the bounty, and the rest will be taken from the consumers in this country. The State is contributing nothing, and in no sense is it a bounty. It is part-feeding the milk suppliers on their own tail and getting the balance from the consumers. There is no use in calling it something that it is not. There is no levy whatever on the other big class of producer who, even though not organised, produce their own butter and sell in the local markets. There is no means of supervising them. They are going to get whatever benefits will be conferred, but they are going to contribute nothing.

Do they not want them?

The people who are going to bear the brunt want them also. The machinery in the Bill is faulty in that connection, as that class will get the same benefit and contribute nothing to the cost. To that extent the Bill is faulty. Creameries are both manufacturers and sellers, and it is easy to deal with them. There will be considerable difficulty in dealing with merchants and factors who buy butter in the country and sell it. I can see by the telegram that has been sent to Deputy Anthony that they are going to have more difficulties than the creameries. It is only a question of addition and subtraction for creameries, as they will have to pay their 2d. per lb. That matter is easily dealt with. I agree with Deputy Davin that a year should be the limit of this Bill. At the end of that time the difficulties that will have arisen will be seen. I think it would be better to review the Bill at the end of a year rather than at the end of two or three years. I am certain the Minister for Agriculture will be the first to see the necessity for doing so.

We are going to get 4d. more than the English market can give us in the ordinary way in regard to 50 per cent. of our production. For the other 50 per cent., sold here, the market will be forced up so as to give us the 4d. Of that 4d. the creamery supplier will contribute 2d., leaving 2d. to come to the supplier, minus the enhanced price he will have to pay for his own home supplies and minus some other costs. I think the most he can expect is about 1d. or 1¼d. per lb. I do not think it will be 1½d. That would mean something over ¼d. or ½d. a gallon for his milk. It is an effort, and I welcome it as an effort, but it will go a very short way to deal with the problem.

I think we might discount some of the speeches made, especially that of the Minister for Education. He spoke for some time and said nothing of any use so far as the Bill is concerned. We are supposed to get 18/4 of profit on the money we pay. I put it that my figure will be nearer the mark— that the most it will be will be about 10/- or 10/6 per cwt. Even that, bad as it is, I am prepared to accept. If the method suggested, I think, by Deputy Davin were adopted and the money were provided by a tax on luxuries or amusements, there would be no danger of profiteering or of the other evils which are possible under this Bill. In my opinion, that would be a much better way of dealing with the problem than the way suggested. However, we have no objection to the Bill going on for twelve months, at the end of which time there can be a review of the position.

Everything I had to say on the general provisions of this Bill I said on the financial resolution. I objected to the Bill then on account of the fact that it promised to be very expensive to work, that it cast on the people least able to bear it a further burden, and that it would not have the effect of helping the ordinary farmer as distinct from the farmer-supplier to the creameries. I come from a county where creameries are of small importance, where we have mixed tillage farming. I agree with the proposal to put our products in a better position to meet competition on the foreign market. We are told that these foreign markets are subsidised and loaded against us, and that something must be done to enable our produce to compete and maintain its position on those markets. We should, however, take care that we do not, in another way, militate against our own interests with regard to these foreign markets.

I direct the attention of the House to a question asked in the British House of Commons on Monday by Lord Scone. He asked the President of the Board of Trade if he would invite representatives of the Danish Government to a conference, with a view to arranging a commercial treaty whereby Denmark, in return for importing an increased quantity of British materials and manufactures, would become entitled to some of the fiscal advantages enjoyed by British Dominions and Colonies. He said: "It will be a considerable time before this country can produce bacon and other products to satisfy our needs, and Denmark is much more worthy of our custom than the Irish Free State."

My objections to the Bill, generally, are on account of the effect on home-produced butter and the incidence of the cost in respect of poor persons, combined with the small advantage which will eventually result to the farmers. Section 2 provides that the levy is to be made from April to November. I should like to know if the bounty will be paid in respect of exported butter only in the same period. If a merchant had made a contract to export butter for a long period, how would he be affected with regard to the bounty? There is power taken to alter the levy. How are merchants who have butter on hands on which the full levy has been paid going to be recouped if the levy is lowered?

[An Ceann Comhairle resumed the Chair.]

I do not think that the Deputy was here a short time ago, when we arranged to conclude the debate at 7.30. The Deputy is now raising points that should be raised on the next stage.

The Deputy can raise those points on the Committee Stage.

I shall hold them over, with your permission.

It was suggested that we should have done something to help the creameries to help themselves and reference was made to central marketing. I am anxious to do everything I can to help central marketing by the creameries, so that they will not be cutting prices on the foreign market, but I do not feel that any intervention at this time would be of any use, because there is a sort of prejudice against central marketing. There was an attempt made at central marketing a year ago and there is a very strong prejudice against it on the part of certain creameries since then.

On the part of creamery managers.

Whatever view the creamery managers hold, it would be very hard to get beyond them down to the committees even if we wished to do so.

Who owns the industry?

Except we had the goodwill of the creamery managers, it would be very hard to organise for central marketing. The Department of Agriculture is anxious that such a thing should be done, but we do not feel that it can be done at the moment. I was asked by Deputy Mulcahy what industry we are trying to help. We are trying to help the whole industry of the production of milk, creameries in particular. The Bill is based on the assumption that we want to help the dairy industry generally.

The question of the cost to the consumer has been raised and various figures have been given. I stated on the last day that our figures worked out at about £400,000. Deputy Mulcahy produced figures which built the cost up to nearly a million. Some of his figures are wrong. We consume about 300,000 cwts. of creamery butter. We consume only a small amount of factory butter. Only about 40,000 cwts. of farmers' butter, so far as we know, are sold by farmers for consumption in the Free State.

Where does the rest of it go?

It is consumed by the producers themselves on their own farms, so that it does not really make any difference to the farmer producing his own butter whether the price is to be 1/1 or 1/5d.

600,000 cwts. of butter consumed by the people who make it?

That is right. About 40,000 cwts. of that are sold. According to the statistics, the remainder of that is supposed to be consumed by the farmers and the members of their own families. That cuts down the Bill, of course considerably again. We in our calculations gave the figure of £415,000 as the cost. Supposing the price were to go up by 4d. per lb. over the cost of the last two years—the cost of the last two years, of course, included three or four months in the winter when the cost was high following the tariff so that those three or four months would be taken off—but taking these two things into consideration the figure would work down to about £415,000. If, however, you were to take the cost of the tariff and this thing combined —to take the two together which would perhaps be the fairer way to look at it—the cost would be about £610,000. That is how we make out the figures. We have gone to all the trouble possible to get the figures: the amount of production and the amount of consumption and so on within the country of the different classes of butter.

To go to the other side of this and get the cost of the production of milk is very difficult. I certainly do not agree with Deputy Bennett that the whole price of the milk goes to the milkers and to meet the cost of delivery at the creameries because it is practically inconceivable how, if that were so, farmers could live at all.

If they pay everything they get to the workmen they hire and to the men they get to bring the milk to the creameries, then of course there is nothing left for themselves at all. I do not believe that Deputy Bennett would hire a man and give him nothing to do for the whole day except to milk eight cows in the morning and eight cows in the evening, leaving him idle for the rest of the day. Surely the man would get something else to do for the remainder of the day if there was anything else to be done. The whole cost, I suggest, cannot be put against the milking of the cows. But, as near as we can go to the costings which were accepted by the Commission on Agriculture that sat in 1923, these would be about 5½d. per gallon, and I agree with Deputy Bennett that we are not giving the farmer under this scheme the cost of production. We are only going part of the way and are not giving him the full cost.

It is a shame.

It is, but we cannot do it. God knows we have met with criticism enough in the distance that we have gone. Deputy Bennett went to great trouble about a penny. There was a penny, he said, lost under the scheme, but he was not able to tell us where it went. He said they paid 2d. of a levy and 4d. bounty, and then said "they only get a penny of the 2d. back." He started off like Deputy Cosgrave who on the last day that we discussed this said that we would be inclined to export more than half the butter. When Deputy Cosgrave was explaining it he put two-thirds of the butter in front of Deputy O'Sullivan and one-third in front of Deputy Gorey, and he gradually transferred all the butter in front of Deputy Gorey to Deputy O'Sullivan until he had exported it all.

Two good feeders.

Deputy Bennett did the same to-day. He said the inducement would be to export all the butter, and if we did of course the bounty would go down from 4d. to 2d. But the whole scheme is that the home consumer will buy butter at the price at which butter is exported, plus the bounty so that we will not export it all. The people at home will buy butter, and the whole scheme of the Bill is that the home consumer will have to buy butter at the price of the exported butter plus the bounty and he will buy. But suppose the home consumer does not and suppose that the creameries export the whole lot, will they not get back their twopence anyway?

On a point of order. I do not think I suggested that a penny would be lost. I suggested that a penny of the 4d. would be lost; that they will get a penny benefit instead of 2d.

They will get it all back anyway. That brings me to another point. We were told by Deputy Davin and Deputy Shaw that under this scheme we were giving butter cheaper to John Bull than he should get it. I must say that I feel in a very humiliating position to be put in the dock in defence of John Bull against Deputy Shaw and Deputy Davin. However, I suppose that cannot be helped. All I can say is that we are not going to give butter to John Bull any cheaper than New Zealand is giving it to him or Australia or any of the other people that are selling butter at world prices. We are going to give it to him at the very same price.

What we are doing really in the Bill is this—Deputy Bennett drew attention to this in the course of his speech—we are going to make the tariff effective, a thing that the farmers could have done for themselves. In this Bill we are doing it for them. We are making the tariff effective, a thing they did not do themselves but which they could have done if they had been properly organised. That brings me to another point. We were reminded that no matter what we do here we cannot raise the price of anything on the foreign market. Now we see that, but we also see another thing. We have demonstrated a thing that the ex-Minister for Agriculture told us, over and over again, could not be done. He said that you cannot raise the price of any commodity, within the country, where you have a surplus for export. We have demonstrated that, in this country, you can do it, and that is what we are doing. We are raising the price of an article of which we have a surplus for export within the country by a tariff. We are showing that we can do that, at any rate, but we cannot, we admit ——

Feed the dog on his own tail.

The Deputy is more familiar with dogs than I am. I do not know whether they should eat their tails or not.

I admit it.

Deputy Shaw told us the same old tale, that over in England he had seen hung up in the shops notices "No Irish produce sold here." Three or four years ago, he told us that he saw that in 1920, but he was the only one here who had seen it, and he was the first man to refer to it again.

There is only one other point with regard to financing the Bill, which was raised by Deputy Davin. We do intend to put into the Central Fund whatever may accrue from the tariff, but we hope, on the other hand, to make that nil under this Bill, that there will be no proceeds from the tariff. There probably will, however, during the first month of the working of the Bill, and whatever it may be it will go into the pool. It is not necessary to take any notice of that under this Bill. A Supplementary Estimate will have to be introduced at some period, because the pool will be overdrawn, and very much overdrawn, at certain periods of the year. In fact, by the time we reach September, the pool might possibly be overdrawn to the extent of £50,000 or £100,000, so that it will be necessary to bring in a Supplementary Estimate to make provision for the paying out of bounties on exported butter, and when that Supplementary Estimate is introduced, the Minister for Finance will have power to pay money into the pool if he wishes. I have no doubt whatever that, if times were to improve as much as was suggested by Deputy Davin, and we could afford to put money into this pool instead of putting the whole thing on to the consumer, we would certainly do so, and if, as Deputy Shaw said, we succeeded in keeping the Land Annuities, of which, he said, we have promised a certain amount to agriculture, it would be, perhaps, one of the best methods in which agriculture could be helped.

They will do better than that. They will keep them themselves.

The Deputy had better mind, or he will go to Mountjoy, too.

I would like to ask the Minister if, in view of the more or less general agreement on this point—the question of the life of the Bill—he would agree to accept an amendment on the Committee Stage, limiting the life of the Bill to one year.

That is a very serious thing. Do not ask me to answer that now.

I would like to ask the Minister again to say if the position he puts before us is this: that the consumption of creamery butter is 320,000 cwts. in this country, and that, approximately, a small amount, say 30,000 cwts., is exported, and that the rest of the butter is consumed in the country by the farmers who make it. The last figures we have for farmers' butter are that in 1929, 835,000 cwts. were produced, of which 167,000 cwts. went as factory butter, about 37,000 cwts. being eaten in the country, leaving 657,000 cwts of farmers' butter as the amount consumed in the country. Does the Minister say that the whole of that is consumed by the farmers who make it?

No. I said that between 40,000 and 60,000 cwts. were sold.

So that you have 620,000 cwts. of butter eaten in the country by the people who make it.

Yes; that is, if the figures are right.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 89; Níl, 45.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Bryan.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Clery, Mícheál.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Curran, Patrick Joseph.
  • Davin, William,
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Gorey, Denis John.
  • Gormley, Francis.
  • Gorry, Patrick Joseph.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Keyes, Raphael Patrick.
  • Kiersey, John.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas J.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • O'Shaughnessy, John Joseph.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Brasier, Brooke.
  • Broderick, William Jos.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Finlay, Thomas A.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Hayes, Michael.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Keating, John.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • McDonogh, Fred.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Hara, Patrick.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Shaw, Patrick Walter.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • White, John.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies G. Boland and Allen; Níl: Deputies Anthony and Morrissey.
Question declared carried.

When is it proposed to take the Committee Stage?

This day week.

Are we to understand that this will be taken after all the Budget Resolutions have been passed?

Yes, after the debate.

After the Budget Resolutions have been passed?

No, after the Budget discussion that day.

I think that Deputy Davin, speaking on behalf of the Labour Party, said that they were giving a qualified support to the Second Reading of the Bill. He is, after voting for the Second Reading of the Bill, inquiring whether the Committee Stage of the Bill will be taken after the Budget Resolutions have been passed. The Minister says "No."

That is after the discussion on the Budget is over.

There is no business taken as a rule after the Budget speeches are made.

We should take the Committee Stage to-morrow week if you wish.

Committee Stage ordered for Thursday, the 12th May, 1932.