Public Business. - Agriculture (Amendment) Bill, 1934—Committee.

The Dáil went into Committee on the Agriculture (Amendment) Bill, 1934.
Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.
SECTION 3.
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 33 of the Principal Act, no person resident outside the functional area of a committee of agriculture shall be entitled to receive any advantage offered for the purposes of agriculture and other rural industries by such committee in pursuance of an agricultural scheme administered by such committee, unless under and in accordance with the express provisions of such scheme.
(2) For the purpose of this section the functional area of the committee of agriculture for a county shall be such county, excluding any urban districts comprised therein.

I move:—

To delete sub-section (1) and substitute the following sub-section:—

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 33 of the Principal Act, no advantage offered for the purposes of agriculture and other rural industries by a committee of agriculture in pursuance of an agricultural scheme administered by such committee shall be given in respect of any land situate outside the functional area of such committee or in respect of any horses, cattle or other live stock, or poultry, or bees kept outside such functional area, unless under and in accordance with the express provisions of such scheme.

On the Second Reading Stage of the Bill Deputy Cosgrave raised the point that, as this section is drafted, a person resident in an urban area with land in a rural area might be ruled out from getting the benefit of the county scheme. It was felt there was a possibility that that might take place under the Act and this amendment has been drafted to meet that point so that any person with land inside the functional area would be entitled to the benefit under the scheme as amended.

Does the Minister mean that a person with land within the city boundary of Dublin would be entitled to the benefit of this scheme?

Dr. Ryan

No.

I would like the Minister to be good enough to explain a difficulty that has arisen in this matter. Perhaps before the Bill goes through if the Minister does not want all its stages to-day he might make some arrangement to meet a difficulty that there is as between Dublin County and City.

The Deputy might raise that matter on the section, when the amendment has been disposed of.

As the amendment stands now, in the case of a landholder in County Dublin, no matter what acreage of land he possessed in the county, the fact that he stabled his horses in the city leaves him outside the scope of any assistance from the Department of Agriculture in connection with these schemes. I do not think that was the Minister's intention because to my own knowledge one of the largest agriculturists in the County Dublin stables quite a number of horses in the city. The city has been recently extended and quite a number of agriculturists may be in the same position as that man whom I know. Deputy Belton would perhaps be better qualified to address himself to this matter than I but it does appear that as drawn now, the amendment does mean more than the Minister had in mind when he turned his attention to the phrasing of the Bill as it stood.

The phrasing of the Bill as it stood meant that a man resident in the city, though he might get his principal occupation from the use of land outside the city, would be debarred from getting any of the advantages which are given to a person who contributes towards the rates. In either of the cases, that is either in the case of a person resident in the city or in the case of a person such as is mentioned here,

"in respect of any horses, cattle or any live stock or poultry or bees kept outside such functional area"

—that would mean kept within the confines of the metropolitan area in Dublin—the landholder although he would pay rates towards these schemes, would be debarred from getting any advantage because of the fact that these animals were housed in the metropolitan area. I think that the Minister ought to look into the amendment and on the Report Stage make provision for such a case as I have mentioned. The idea of the Minister and those who approached him on the matter is that persons resident in urban or suburban areas who are not contributing towards the cost of a scheme ought not be allowed to get the advantage of it. He might say that the time of agricultural inspectors would be taken up with these cases but I am sure it was not the intention to exclude from the benefits of any such scheme, a person having a stable inside the metropolitan area although a ratepayer in the agricultural area.

I should like if the Minister would adopt the suggestion of Deputy Cosgrave and postpone this amendment to a later stage. The Minister does not want the Bill put through all its stages to-day?

Dr. Ryan

No.

Well, I shall meet the Minister if he likes and I would suggest that Deputy Breathnach should also be present because he is Chairman of the City Vocational Committee. I am Chairman of the County Committee of Agriculture. This matter has been brought before the respective committees by residents on the borderline and within the borderline, especially residents whose district has been brought within the city by the last rectification of the boundary. Both committees met in conference and they are unanimously willing to facilitate the people in these services. Within the city there is not a demand sufficient to justify the setting up of machinery for such services. We in the county are prepared to lend our officials if we have the power. We had this matter worked out and then we discovered that we had not the power, though we were willing unanimously to do it. The Minister should make an adjustment which will leave us in the county at no loss but which will not deprive the people in the city of these services, unless the Minister has in mind some principle which he would be violating by facilitating an arrangement of that kind. In any case I would strongly urge that he should withdraw this amendment until he hears the whole story of the Vocational Committee and the County Committee of Agriculture. Both committees are unanimously anxious to meet the situation if we have the power. I do not know when an opportunity will arise to give us this power if we do not get it now. I would ask the Minister to allow this amendment to stand over until the Report Stage.

Dr. Ryan

I am prepared to withdraw this amendment until the Report Stage. We do not intend to take the Report Stage until next week. In the meantime we can have these consultations.

I thank the Minister. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. Section 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Question proposed: "That Section 4 stand part of the Bill."

I should like to ask the Minister for an explanation of the first sub-section, which states:—

For the purposes of Rules 3 and 4 of the Second Schedule to the Principal Act, the Borough of Dun Laoghaire shall be deemed not to be a county electoral area of the County of Dublin.

I must confess that I am not sure whether the Borough of Dún Laoghaire contributes anything to the agricultural rate.

Dr. Ryan

No, it does not.

The Minister is sure it does not?

Dr. Ryan

It does not.

It is a reasonable amendment so. Obviously we shall have the same difficulty with the Borough of Dún Laoghaire as we have in the City, as the Borough of Dún Laoghaire comprises a good deal of the rural area. I take it also that for the purpose of computing the number of members of the County Committee of Agriculture, we shall not count on the number of electoral areas in the county electoral area of Dún Laoghaire?

Dr. Ryan

That is right.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 5 and the title put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 2nd May.