Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Milk Price Increase.

asked the Minister for Agriculture whether, in pursuance of his statement in the Dáil on February 28th last to the effect that the question of an increase in the price of milk delivered at the creameries is one which he prefers to discuss with the creamery co-operative organisation rather than with a deputation from the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers' Association, he is taking steps to get the views of the co-operative organisation on this very important matter, or, alternatively, whether he will reconsider the advisability of receiving the milk suppliers' deputation, now that the milking season is at hand.

I have recently received a request from the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, Limited, to receive a deputation from the co-operative organisation to discuss the question of creamery milk prices and I have arranged to meet the deputation.

While it is a step in the right direction for the Minister to receive a deputation from the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society and while we hope that in consideration of that——

Cá bhfuil an ceist?

——that the milk suppliers to the creameries may get an increase in the price of milk to which they are entitled——

Has the Deputy a supplementary question?

Is it not a fact that the Milk Suppliers' Association are more representative of the dairy farmers than the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society——

——because they represent the real producers, the people supplying milk to the creameries?

The answer is "No".

Will the Minister say why he has refused to meet a deputation from the Milk Suppliers' Association?

Because, as I explained before, I have made it a practice, since I became Minister for Agriculture, to discuss matters relating to the dairying industry with the co-operative movement as the sole licensed person to conduct the creamery business in this country representing the dairying farmers of Ireland and, in respect of dairying matters, I propose to adhere to that practice.