Livestock Marts Bill, 1967: Committee Stage (Resumed).

Debate resumed on the following amendment:
In page 2, line 15, after "adapted" to insert "and habitually used".
—(Deputy M.J. O'Higgins.)

I was dealing with amendment 2b in the name of Deputy M.J. O'Higgins and asking that the Government accept the words "and habitually used". This is for the purpose of ensuring that the Bill, as introduced, will cover exactly what it is meant to cover. We hold that the Minister by the mere Title of the Bill, the Livestock Marts Bill, meant to control marts. We also hold that the Bill as presented will, in effect, cover all types of cattle sales.

The Title will be before the House before the Bill leaves the House. It is not before the House now. It is amendment 2b that is before the House.

This is the definition section.

Amendment 2b is before the House and it is necessary that the Deputy should confine himself to that amendment.

I find it difficult to follow the line of argument but if you will allow me to explain: We hold that if the Government accept this amendment to include "and habitually used", then the terms of this legislation would be confined to the operation of cattle marts and would not interfere with the rights of the small farmers who elect, for reasons best known to themselves, to sell their cattle by other methods. We find it difficult to persuade members of the Fianna Fáil Party to this particular line of thought. As is now evident, we find it difficult even to persuade the members of the Government Party to provide a quorum in this Assembly.

The missionary efforts of the Deputy with the Fianna Fáil Party may be very excellent but I am asking him again to confine himself to section 1, amendment 2(b).

In trying to persuade members present to this particular line of thought I, on my part, am endeavouring to enlighten Members so that they may, because of their membership of the Government Party, be in a better position to persuade the Minister to accept this, the ultimate fact being, of course, that if the Minister does not accept it, then the Government have the majority to steamroll this through Dáil Éireann. It is for this reason that we in the Fine Gael Party are particularly anxious that members of the Fianna Fáil Party should be here to hear us and to listen to those points because as demonstrated by the interjections and interruptions of members of the Government Party during the debate on this particular section when Deputy Hogan was speaking, it is quite evident that most of them are not familiar with these amendments. They are quite prepared and content to present themselves in this Chamber when the division bells ring to perform the function which, in my opinion, they believe to be only a function they are obliged to perform by virtue of being members of the Government Party, that is, to act as yes men. We in the Fine Gael Party have given detailed thought to these matters and they have been discussed at great length by us, and it is for reasons like these that these amendments appear on the Order Paper.

It is for that reason also that I personally, would be more than obliged if Deputy Corry would give us an indication of what he sees in this particular amendment. I should like through you, a Cheann Comhairle, to ask: does it not appear to members of the Fianna Fáil Party that if this amendment is not accepted, then the Minister, through his officers, can enter any sales mart and any fair green, can go into any farm or holding if there is evidence of any type of cattle sale, whereas if the amendment is accepted, the Minister, through his officers, would be confined to the premises which are habitually used for this type of sale?

Deputy Corry is a Member of this House for many years. He is a Member who has given loyal and noble service to the agricultural community. No doubt he is a man of wide experience and great knowledge, and I cannot understand why he has not availed of this opportunity to enlighten me and to tell me that this is not good legislation. I would like to hear the honest-to-goodness views of Deputy Corry and I would like when this Bill is passed, as no doubt it will be, people interested in agriculture, and indeed future generations, to be able to avail of the wisdom which Deputy Corry could give us by reading the records of this House, but for some unexplained reasons Deputy Corry remains silent. This is notable also of other members of the Fianna Fáil Party. I hope Deputy Corry will excuse me but I would like to put on record that the reason I am so particularly anxious that he should speak is that I regard him as being a member who has agricultural ability and indeed who has concerned himself with the agricultural industry generally. The importance of this amendment is so great that we deem it necessary that Fianna Fáil Members should give reasoned and serious thought to accepting it.

For the 35th time.

It is not in the better interests of democracy that a Minister should refuse to accept an amendment which has been duly considered and put forward by a responsible Opposition Party. The concept of democracy is a two or three Party system, one Government Party there to legislate and to propose, but also to listen to constructive proposals from the Opposition Party or Parties. I am sorry Deputy Corry has now left the House. It leaves the Fianna Fáil Party with one member, a sad reflection on the industry which the Parliamentary Secretary has been appointed to control.

Would the Deputy not take it as a sad reflection on his powers of oratory?

Maybe, but it is the function of a Government to provide a House. At least we are entitled to that consideration. I do not particularly wish to bring Deputy Corry back into the House but the generation to which I belong will be very interested to know what Deputy Corry feels about this amendment. For that reason I am disappointed that Deputy Corry not only is not in the House but that he should fail to try to persuade some of the younger members of the Fianna Fáil Party, members of my generation, to take their seats so that they could hear him put on record the reservoir of knowledge he must have accumulated during the long number of years he has represented County Cork in Dáil Éireann.

Before progress was reported prior to Questions, because I found myself addressing empty Government benches I brought to the notice of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle that we needed a quorum. Deputy Corry appeared in the House and demonstrated the arrogance of the Fianna Fáil Members by protesting about being disturbed during lunch and asking that the question be put. That was typical of the dictatorial attitude of the Fianna Fáil Party. They have not got the decency to take their seats and to discuss this matter in a reasoned, cool atmosphere.

Glory be to God.

I welcome Deputy Corry back. We seek to protect individuals in the agricultural community who need protection. That is why we have put forward serious, considered amendments to this legislation. The amendment now is that we include "habitually used" after "adapted". I now welcome Deputy Cunningham back. If this continues, we shall soon have a quorum.

This is not the amendment.

We think that to describe any premises as being "adapted" is so wide and loose that the Government should accept this amendment.

Which amendment?

We are now discussing an amendment to the Agricultural Marts Bill.

The Livestock Marts Bill. The Deputy has also misquoted the amendment. It is not "habitually used"; it is "and habitually used".

I now welcome Deputy Booth, the large farmer from the city of Dublin. This gives us four. If it continues, we shall have a quorum before 7 o'clock.

Maybe at that stage the Deputy may have come to the amendment.

It is a reflection on good democracy that the Fianna Fáil Party should treat this Assembly in the manner they have been treating it. The only democratic right we have as an Opposition Party, bearing in mind that the majority will decide and that Fianna Fáil have a majority of Members in this House and that the result of all this talk will be that the Minister will indicate he will not accept this amendment and that Members of the Fianna Fáil Party will parade in here when the Division bell rings and will follow the Minister——

Our democratic right.

I agree it is a democratic right. However, when a person takes on himself the onerous responsibility of exercising that democratic right by voting on any matter in this House, he should do so with an informed mind, and I submit that Deputy Cunningham is ill-informed because on an earlier amendment, he interrupted me to inform me——

On a point of order, Sir, could you help the Deputy to get back to the amendment? This seems to have been lost sight of.

I do not know if that is a point of order but it is another example——

(South Tipperary): He was not following you.

Exactly. This is one of the mechanics of democracy. Our democratic right as an Opposition Party is to inform Deputy Booth what this amendment means in the hope that Deputy Booth will contact the Minister and say: "Now, listen, Minister, this may be your opinion but I have listened to Fine Gael Deputies and I have listened particularly to Deputy Harte——"

(Interruptions.)

"I have listened also to the casual remarks of Deputy Corry in the corridors and I am now of the opinion that there is something in the amendment proposed by the Fine Gael Party, that you should now include `and habitually used' ". It is that simple. The amendment means a lot to the section and to the agricultural community which needs protection. To give a further example——

Not of repetition, I hope.

——of the reaction of certain members of the Fianna Fáil Party——

Let us get back to the amendment.

I am directly on the amendment. That is the difficulty. We can talk for hours and hours and Deputy Booth asks can we get back to the amendment. You will agree that I am speaking directly on it.

You are long enough at it to believe it yourself.

Deputy Dillon spent approximately an hour this morning explaining this to Deputy Allen, Deputy Foley and the television personality from Dublin——

Deputy Dowling.

——Deputy Dowling, and it was quite evident towards the end of Deputy Dillon's——

——contribution that these three new Deputies were beginning to think. That is what we are trying to do. We are trying to make Fianna Fáil backbenchers think. We know that if we do not use every democratic means at our disposal no doubt Fianna Fáil Deputies will parade behind the Minister and the leaders of that Party when the division bells ring. We believe it is the duty of Deputies to support legislation proposed in the better interests of our people. Fianna Fáil Deputies have not discussed this Bill in great detail. That is evident because of certain factors. Only a few Fianna Fáil Deputies have offered to explain why these things cannot be accepted, and that few included Deputy Booth, present, Deputy Corry, present, and my reasoned colleague from Donegal, Deputy Cunningham. When those three Deputies made some form of a contribution, they were so off the beam that it prompted members of this Party who had already spoken on the amendment to rise again to explain in detail what this is all about. Deputy Andrews has just come in. He does not concern himself with agriculture.

On a point of order, I wish to move that the question be now put.

That is not a point of order.

As a Deputy, I wish to move that the question be now put.

Acting Chairman

I rule it out of order as the Ceann Comhairle is not in the Chair.

It is only the Ceann Comhairle who can rule——

Acting Chairman

I am now in the Chair and I so rule.

It is only the Ceann Comhairle who can deal with the motion to put the question. The motion proposed by Deputy Corry is in order.

Acting Chairman

It is a matter for the Chair and it is not in order so far as I am concerned.

Might I inquire, under what Standing Order?

Acting Chairman

There is a method by which the ruling of the Chair can be challenged. Deputy Harte.

I refer you to the Standing Orders of this House.

With all due deference to the Chair, under Standing Order 53, when this question is moved by a member of the House who is entitled to do so, is it not normal practice for the Ceann Comhairle to be sent for to decide whether the motion should be put?

Acting Chairman

That is correct. The Ceann Comhairle has directed that it was not a point of order.

The Ceann Comhairle did not take the Chair.

Acting Chairman

This was put as a point of order and ruled on as a point of order. I shall send for the Ceann Comhairle now and let him rule on it. This matter should have been raised while the Ceann Comhairle was in the Chair and not when he was about to leave.

I appreciate that that should have happened.

An Ceann Comhairle took the Chair.

I have moved that the question be now put. It is evident that there is repetition of the statements made here and this has been going on since 10.30 this morning.

The Deputy never liked free debate.

I want to make a proposal.

There is no debate once the question is put.

I want to make a proposal to the effect that discussion on the Livestock Marts Bill be suspended and that the Dáil should get on with something worthwhile, such as the Redundancy Payments Bill which is of vital interest to the majority.

I would need notice of that motion. Deputy Corry moved earlier in the day that the question be now put. I did not feel at the time that it would be judicious to accept the motion and I declined to accept it. I am accepting the motion now.

What about my proposal?

The Deputy will have to submit that in the usual fashion.

Question put: "That the question be now put."
The Committee divided: Tá, 65; Níl, 43.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Lorcan.
  • Blaney, Neil T.
  • Boland, Kevin.
  • Booth, Lionel.
  • Boylan, Terence
  • Brady, Philip.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Burke, Patrick J.
  • Calleary, Phelim A.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Carty, Michael.
  • Clohessy, Patrick.
  • Colley, George.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Cotter, Edward.
  • Crinion, Brendan.
  • Cronin, Jerry.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • Davern, Don.
  • de Valera, Vivion.
  • Dowling, Joe.
  • Egan, Nicholas.
  • Fahey, John.
  • Fanning, John.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzpatrick, Thomas J. (Dublin South-Central).
  • Flanagan, Seán.
  • Foley, Desmond.
  • Gallagher, James.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gibbons, Hugh.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Healy, Augustine A.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Kennedy, James J.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lalor, Patrick J.
  • Lemass, Noel T.
  • Lemass, Seán.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Lenihan, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • Meaney, Tom.
  • Millar, Anthony G.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Mooney, Patrick.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Nolan, Thomas.
  • Ó Ceallaigh, Seán.
  • O'Connor, Timothy.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Donogh.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Wyse, Pearse.

Níl

  • Barrett Stephen D.
  • Barry, Richard.
  • Belton, Luke.
  • Belton, Paddy.
  • Burke, Joan T.
  • Burton, Philip.
  • Clinton, Mark A.
  • Collins, Seán.
  • Connor, Patrick.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Coughlan, Stephen.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry P.
  • Dockrell Maurice E.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dunne, Thomas.
  • Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
  • Farrelly, Denis.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Gilhawley, Eugene.
  • Governey, Desmond.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hogan, Patrick. (South Tipperary).
  • Jones, Denis F.
  • Kenny, Henry.
  • L'Estrange, Gerald.
  • Lindsay, Patrick J.
  • Lyons, Michael D.
  • McLaughlin, Joseph.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • Norton, Patrick.
  • O'Donnell, Patrick.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Hara, Thomas.
  • O'Higgins, Michael J.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • Reynolds, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, Richie.
  • Spring, Dan.
  • Sweetman, Gerard.
  • Tully, James.
Tellers: —Tá, Deputies Carty and Geoghegan; Níl, Deputies L'Estrange and James Tully.
Question declared carried.
Amendment put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 44; Níl, 65.

  • Barrett Stephen D.
  • Barry, Richard.
  • Belton, Luke.
  • Belton, Paddy.
  • Burke, Joan T.
  • Burton, Philip.
  • Clinton, Mark A.
  • Collins, Seán.
  • Connor, Patrick.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Coughlan, Stephen.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry P.
  • Dockrell Maurice E.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dunne, Thomas.
  • Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
  • Farrelly, Denis.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Gilhawley, Eugene.
  • Governey, Desmond.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hogan, Patrick.
  • (South Tipperary).
  • Jones, Denis F.
  • Kenny, Henry.
  • L'Estrange, Gerald.
  • Lindsay, Patrick J.
  • Lyons, Michael D.
  • McLaughlin, Joseph.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • Norton, Patrick.
  • O'Donnell, Patrick.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Hara, Thomas.
  • O'Higgins, Michael J.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • Reynolds, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, Richie.
  • Spring, Dan.
  • Sweetman, Gerard.
  • Tully, James.

Níl

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Lorcan.
  • Blaney, Neil T.
  • Boland, Kevin.
  • Booth, Lionel.
  • Boylan, Terence.
  • Brady, Philip.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Burke, Patrick J.
  • Calleary, Phelim A.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Carty, Michael.
  • Clohessy, Patrick.
  • Colley, George.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Cotter, Edward.
  • Crinion, Brendan.
  • Cronin, Jerry.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • Davern, Don.
  • de Valera, Vivion.
  • Dowling, Joe.
  • Egan, Nicholas.
  • Fahey, John.
  • Fanning, John.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzpatrick, Thomas J. (Dublin South-Central).
  • Flanagan, Seán.
  • Foley, Desmond.
  • Gallagher, James.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gibbons, Hugh.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Healy, Augustine A.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Kennedy, James J.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lalor, Patrick J.
  • Lemass, Noel T.
  • Lemass, Seán.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Lenihan, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • Meaney, Tom.
  • Millar, Anthony G.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Mooney, Patrick.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Nolan, Thomas.
  • Ó Ceallaigh, Seán.
  • O'Connor, Timothy.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Donogh.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers: —Tá: Deputies L'Estrange and James Tully; Níl: Deputies Carty and Geoghegan.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 3:

In line 16 to add "but does not include the leasing or letting of any such place".

With this amendment, the definition section would read:

"Business of a livestock mart" means the business of selling livestock by auction or providing, for the holding of sales of livestock by auction or otherwise, a place adapted for the sale of livestock by auction but does not include the leasing or letting of any such place.

As I read the definition section, if a farmer provides in his own haggard, or in a corner of a field, or in any place you will, a place and in that place puts up a very temporary ring of any description—or, as they say in Donegal, a circle—and even if for one hour in any day, cattle or sheep or pigs are sold in that space, then the farmer is responsible for whatever takes place there. He is held responsible even though he may be 50 or 100 miles away for any breach of the rules or regulations of the law applying to livestock marts generally.

Surely this is crazy legislation? Surely it was never intended that a farmer who provided space should be held responsible for any breach of the law committed by any person using that space, whether that person is an employee or not, and is then liable to the penalties provided in this legislation? He might be liable to a fine of £1,000 or to six months in prison, or both. There is provision for all these penalties. Look at all that is required and all that may happen under section 6 where the Minister may require so many things——

The Minister may, for the purpose of ensuring the proper conduct of places where the business of a livestock mart is carried on and the proper conduct of such businesses adequate and suitable hygienic and veterinary standards...

If the Minister is not satisfied there are proper hygienic and veterinary standards carried out by the person who leases or rents the place or any employee of his, then the farmer who supplied the place is liable and guilty and may be imprisoned or fined heavily.

That is the first. Next we have "The provision of adequate and suitable accommodation and facilities." If the Minister says at any stage that the accommodation and facilities are not up to standard, the man who rents it may say: "Talk to your man about that, if you can find him. I did not adapt this place. He adapted it and he thought it was good enough. I agreed to give him £200 a year for it. I will not go back and either pay him for doing it or be at the expense of doing it myself." He is in trouble if either the Minister or any officer of his Department says: "This will not do. The accommodation is not good enough. It is not up to our standards. You have to put it right. If you do not, the farmer who leased it to you is in trouble and we will see to it he is in trouble." We start off by having him covered in this definition section.

That does not finish it. The Minister may "make such regulations as he thinks appropriate in relation to such places and such businesses." Who knows what regulations the Minister is likely to make? I am not only talking about the present Minister, who is capable of making any regulations whatever, but we have to think about the people who will follow him. You would not know when we would get an even more crazy Minister than the one we have at the moment; you would not know what sort of ideas he would get. Anybody who lets or leases or provides a place could be in trouble for any and every reason. We just do not know what the Minister has in mind. We do not know what he is likely to do in the future.

The Minister may not only lay down regulations but also conditions. If for some reason he thinks that this farmer who provided this place happens to be a member of the NFA, then that farmer has surely had it. The Minister will see he goes to jail, if it is the last thing he does. This is an obvious omission from the definition section. It is left out to catch that type of fellow. It goes on:

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, regulations under this section may—

(a) prescribe the manner in which entries for auctions of livestock at such places shall be received.

Therefore, if the man who has leased or rented it says: "This fellow is a chancer. He is a puffer. He has come in here to destroy my business. I simply will not take his entry because he will ruin my business," that man is in serious trouble. Naturally, the man who leased or rented it will not know the fellows who come in to buy there. He may not have any connection with the farming business. He may not know the first thing about what happened in the course of a livestock sale, not only in a mart but in an open fair or any place else. He may not have sold a beast in his life, but he had the bit of land and he rented it. But one refusal and the law has him, because he is included in this definition section. That is a serious situation. It is a shocking situation in which to place any man, probably an innocent one. Unfortunately, as we all know, innocence or ignorance of the law does not safeguard anybody. Most people leasing or renting a piece of land of that description would be ordinary, decent, unsuspecting people, who would not appreciate they were caught in this way.

Under paragraph (b) the Minister may:

provide that entries for such auctions shall not be refused except in the circumstances prescribed in the regulations,

He has even prescribed the circumstances in which they may be refused. The fellow who has the mart may not know what is in the written portion of this, not to talk of what the Minister may think up in the meantime—the new regulations he can come along with at any time that even we in the House find it difficult to keep track of. Unless we watch the Order Paper day in and day out to ensure no Order we are not acquainted with is placed before the House, it could go through and we would not know anything about it. Many of these people using such a place would not know anything about it, but the fellow who leases his place would be in serious trouble.

Under paragraph (c) the Minister may:

prescribe the manner in which such auctions shall be conducted,

There are so many ways that auctions can be conducted and so many different auctioneers have so many different ways of conducting their business that the Minister could at any time say: "No, you are breaking the law. I do not like the way he auctions the stuff. I will have to tie him up." Immediately he does not come into line, the owner of the place, the man who provided the place, is in serious trouble. I do not think the law ever intended that. I do not think it was ever intended in this Bill. But, so long as the definition section remains as it it, undefined, and so long as this man who innocently provides the space is not excluded, then he is in serious trouble.

Under paragraph (d) the Minister may:

prescribe requirements as to the size, design, maintenance, repair, cleansing, cleanliness, ventilation, heating and lighting of any buildings in which such auctions are held,

The man simply adapted the place and handed it over. The fellow who got it thought: "I am right now. I have a place in which I can carry on auctions." He has it only a month or two when the Minister's inspector arrives and says it will not do at all. The man has paid the rent in advance and tells the inspector so, who replies that that is a matter of indifference to him, that the place has to be put right, that he does not like the size of the building. The man replies that the premises are no bigger or no smaller than when he rented them. Next the inspector says that the design of the place is wrong and does not conform to what was envisaged, that must be altered. The lessee may say that he is not free to change it. The contest continues and the man who has rented the premises is wide open to having proceedings taken against him. If the design and the size are right, the inspector may say that there is not sufficient maintenance. He will not go to the lessee but will go to the farmer who gave the place. When he gave it, everything may have been all right but paint work is not permanent. The floors may not be kept right. The employees of the man who has rented the premises may be responsible for that but it is the man who has rented the premises who must answer for it. I do not believe that any piece of legislation was ever intended to get at such a man in this way.

Then we come to the question of cleansing and cleanliness. I do not know how the distinction is made. I suppose cleanliness depends on the amount of cleansing but the two words are included in this section.

It does not arise on the amendment.

I want to show how it is related All these conditions and regulations are written into the Bill. If I provide a place that is adapted in the most temporary way and for the shortest possible period I can be caught because the person who rented it did not conform to the requirements, or some employee of his did not do what he should have done.

Acting Chairman

What I am pointing out is that a discussion on the difference between cleansing and cleanliness, in which the Deputy was engaging, is not in order.

I am sorry; I did not know exactly what you were getting at. I introduced this because of the fact that in the conditions and regulations both terms are used. I was saying that I did not see why both terms were included. I suppose, if there were sufficient cleansing, there would be the standard of cleanliness required by the Minister.

If he gets over all the hurdles I have mentioned so far as to size, design, maintenance, repair, cleansing and cleanliness, he is not yet out of the wood because the next thing for which he is responsible is ventilation. My experience of cattle marts, especially the type of temporary premises that I am talking about, is that there is such ventilation that one would get pneumonia even in summer. There is sufficient building there to create a fantastic draught. I often wonder where ventilation ended and draught began. "Ventilation" is another of these vague terms. There are very few people who know anything about it. It is quite possible that the Minister would have an officer who would have his own ideas about ventilation. If the farmer were unfortunate enough to lease or rent his property to some fellow who did not appreciate what the Minister's officer had in mind in relation to ventilation, he would be liable to get into trouble. I am sure that that is not intended in the legislation.

Then there is the question of heating. Here there will be a serious problem because there might be no walls to this outfit which he has to heat. The fellow who gets it has to heat it if the other fellow did not heat it. The Minister's officer says that it has to be heated. The man who rents it may ask what will that cost him, and says he has already parted with his money. Heating is a serious problem. There may be no roof on this place. The argument goes on and on. The man who provided the place had only, according to this definition, to provide "a place adapted" and "adapted" is a word we could not define or decide exactly what it means. Because of that, we have all these difficulties. Then there is the question of lighting and there are standards and degrees of lighting and they represent many difficulties. Endless problems could arise which could give rise to trouble and to legal proceedings against the man who innocently provided a place.

Paragraph (e) of section 6, subsection (2) provides that the Minister may:

prescribe requirements as to the accommodation (including washing facilities and sanitary conveniences) provided at such places,

Acting Chairman

The Deputy is discussing another section of the Bill. I would remind him that we are on amendment No. 3 to section 1.

I think that the Acting Chairman will agree with me that all this is relevant to the amendment which will ensure that the man who leases or rents a place or provides a place will not be liable for all the things required in this section. I know that we are all anxious to get on and to get finished with this.

Acting Chairman

The Chair is only interested in the discussion being relevant.

I quite appreciate that, and I want to keep within the rules of the House and I bow to the ruling of the Chair, but I think it will be easy enough to convince the Chair that if all or any of these things can be responsible for a man getting into serious trouble, being fined, being imprisoned, because the definition section lacks the words which this amendment proposes to add, it is relevant to discuss in some detail what this definition section, without the words proposed to be inserted, would let such a man in for.

Paragraph (e), as I said, deals with the accommodation, including washing facilities and sanitary conveniences, and all that sort of thing, that are provided at marts, and indeed, are not provided in any sort of temporary mart or place adapted—it could be well adapted or not so well adapted. If it is not so well adapted, these things will be absent, and the unfortunate man who provided this adapted place is liable to heavy fines and even imprisonment.

Paragraph (f) reads:

prescribe requirements as to and provide for the veterinary examination of livestock at such auctions, the veterinary inspection of livestock marts and the veterinary supervision of such auctions.

I do not know whose responsibility it is to see that the vet gets there and the vet does all these things as required by the Minister, but it can well be that he, too, might upset this unfortunate lessor and be the cause of getting him into trouble.

Paragraph (g) reads:

provide for the inspection of such places and the supervision of such auctions by health authorities and their officers,

What responsibility has the man who owns or leases this space in relation to the health authority officers. It is difficult to be certain from this, but it indicates to me that he has some responsibility to recognise their existence, to see that when they come along there is no trouble about admitting them, that they are met civilly and that they get every facility for carrying out their work. This man might live 50 miles from the place. He might be in a different business altogether. How could he be expected to attend, simply because he has leased the place, and watch all these things, to ensure that none of these things goes wrong, that none of them happens. He just could not be expected to do so, because it would mean that he would have to give up his occupation and perhaps lose his livelihood for the sake of a couple of hundred pounds that he is getting for this letting.

This definition section is so hopeless that it should be scrapped altogether, but we are not saying that in this amendment. We are only trying to ensure that the man who provides an adapted place is safe. If we succeed in this amendment, we shall have succeeded in saving at least one decent man and perhaps a poor man from hardship.

Paragraph (h) says:

prescribe hygienic and veterinary requirements and standards for such places and such auctions.

It might not be possible without very heavy expenditure to have the standards of hygiene and the veterinary requirements the Minister may prescribe for such a place. It is rented at a price, but the accommodation is not there. The man who rents it has not enough money to build the accommodation or is not interested enough to invest in that. The other man is paying him for it and he is not going to spend any more money on it because he would be spending money on another man's property.

In all the circumstances, I will be amazed if the Minister does not agree that the words we propose to add in this amendment "but does not include the leasing or letting of any such place" are essential if the type of people to whom I have referred are to be safeguarded from the many hazards with which they are likely to be faced within the law as it will stand if this piece of legislation goes through the House unaltered.

Subsection (3) goes on to say:

A person who contravenes a provision of regulations under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

Later on, of course, we get all the terrible things that will happen to any person who is guilty of an offence. I could go on and on describing the hazards associated with leaving this definition section as open as it is, but I have probably said sufficient to awaken the people in this House and those responsible for this Bill to the dangers of leaving this definition section as it stands. There is a great necessity for improving this definition to enable the man who is unfortunate enough, unsuspecting enough and perhaps in many cases decent enough to provide an adapted space to carry on even occasional auctions of the type I described here last night.

This man might not even be paid rent for it. He might have said: "I know what you are trying to do for the neighbours here. I am prepared to provide the space; I may have a cow to put into it myself, and at least I will be told by the auctioneer or whoever is interested in doing this job for the time being whether it is a good cow or a bad cow. I do not want any rent for the place." This is what he is letting himself in for and what the Minister is placing in store for this man.

I do not think the Minister realised what he was doing or he would never have left this as open as it is. I appeal to him now to do something with this definition section so that anybody and everybody in any way associated with the sale of livestock will not be caught and made liable to heavy fines or imprisonment. We have made numerous efforts to improve the section but our amendments have not been accepted. Since they have not been accepted, we now want to safeguard one category of people, the people who provide the adapted space. As I say, it may be adapted only in a very temporary way and for a very short time. I appeal to the House to accept this amendment.

The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries rose.

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted, and 20 Members being present,

Acting Chairman

The Minister.

The inspiration has left me.

Then I shall see if I can inspire the Minister further. I am sorry if the Minister feels that efforts to amend this Bill have a soporific effect on the Government. I am also sorry that Deputy Cunningham is not free to take his place in the Chamber because I feel that his views——

Now, have respect for the Chair.

——on this amendment would be vigorous and helpful. I hope that the amendment will still be before the House when Deputy Cunningham is free to participate in the debate.

Acting Chairman

The Deputy has been out of order for the past two minutes.

For the past two days.

I have been speaking for less than a minute and so I find it difficult to understand how I could be out of order for two minutes. I think there is a simple approach to this amendment which I hope will appeal to the Minister. Deputy Clinton's amendment is for the purpose of adding certain words to the portion of the definition section which sets out to define the business of a livestock mart. The Minister will recall that this definition has been under discussion from different aspects for some time and, remember, all it does is to define not what a livestock mart is but what the business of a livestock mart is.

It goes on in the next section to provide that a person shall not carry on the business of a livestock mart at any place without a licence. As Deputy Clinton has pointed out, if a person does carry on this business which we are artificially defining in the definition section, without a licence, various consequences ensue and an offence is committed. As a result of that offence, as the Bill stands, the person who carries on that business, which is a business artificially defined, could find himself jailed for six months and fined £1,000. Deputy Clinton has very reasonably made the case that this definition is not intended to include all people and all places, that there must be something to be excluded in the definition if the intention of the House is that the Bill will apply to livestock marts. Remember that the Bill, both in its long Title and in its short Title, is a Bill referable to livestock marts and I want to put this to the Minister: either it is intended in that definition to include persons who lease or let land or premises which are subsequently used as livestock marts, or it is not.

If it is intended to include such people, then I think many of the complaints which Deputy Clinton has made are valid. If it is not intended to include them, those complaints are equally valid because it means that the definition section as it stands is too wide, too broad and too all-embracing. The first thing to establish on this amendment, if we can, is whether the Minister intends his definition to include people who lease or let a place adapted for sale of livestock by auction.

Or otherwise.

Whether the sale is by auction or otherwise, provided the place is adapted for sale by auction.

I am glad the Deputy can see the distinction.

Is the Minister going to answer my question?

Yes, I shall answer it in due course.

If it is not intended that these people should be included, we should obviously exclude them now. There is a certain amount of virtue when you say something in trying to say what you mean and if we do not mean these people to be included, let us exclude them. If we leave the definition as it stands and if we allow it to include the person who leases or lets a place which is adapted for the sale of livestock by auction, the possibilities are endless and I can assure the Minister and Deputies opposite that the possibilities for discussion of the amendment are accordingly also endless.

For example, take the position of a person acting as a trustee for an infant whose duty it is to utilise the property of the trust in the best interests of that infant.

You will strangle the child before it gets there at all.

Take the position of such a person, a trustee who is charged with the task of utilising the property of thecestui que trust in the best interests of the cestui que trust. What is that person's position if the particular person's property concerned happens to be suitable both as regards area and locale for use as a livestock mart if the soundings of which the Minister spoke in a discussion on an earlier amendment have been made to establish that the Minister is disposed to grant a licence in respect of such a place? Now, so far as the trustee is concerned, he may decide that it is his duty to sound out the market, to see what bids there are, what rent can be obtained for the leasing of the ground in question. He finds, having done that, that the people who wish to operate a livestock mart are the best bet, that they are prepared to pay the highest rent and the trustees accordingly arrange a lease of the property to those who wish to operate a livestock mart.

The position under this definition section, if it remains unaltered, is that the trustees then, having provided the place adapted for the sale of livestock by auction or by definition, are deemed to be in the business of a livestock mart, although all the unfortunate people have done is to secure the best investment they can for thecestui que trust, for the beneficiary of the trust, if I may translate it for the sake of the Minister.

That is better: we understand it now.

All they have done is to secure the best bargain they can for the beneficiary. Nevertheless, by doing that, they find themselves in the position that they have provided a place adapted for the sale of livestock by auction and thereby, if this Bill goes through unaltered, they are deemed to be in the business of a livestock mart. As Deputy Clinton has pointed out, they would then fall to be considered for the various penalties under this Bill, which can arise, for breach of any of the regulations made by the Minister under section 6. That could be the position with regard to a trustee.

Take the position of the President of the High Court or the general solicitor for wards of court, people of that sort who are entrusted with the care of the property of those who have been made wards of court, either because of their infancy and having no parents or guardians or personsin loco parentis who have been made wards of court or because they are people who have been adjudged to be of unsound mind and had somebody appointed to deal with their estates and their interests. What is the position of the President of the High Court if he sanctions the lease of property which has been adapted for the sale of livestock by auction? Is the President of the High Court then to be deemed to be in the business of a livestock mart and are the various penalties laid down in this Bill likely to apply to him?

Take the position of a person who has been appointed in care of a person found to be of unsound mind, who was answerable to the court, who has an obligation to apply the property of the person of unsound mind in the way in which the best advantage will be secured for it. If again, having found out the market, that person finds that the best return on the property can be obtained by making a lease to a person who proposes to operate it as a livestock mart, is that person who has been appointed in the care of the person of unsound mind to be deemed to be in the business of a livestock mart or is the position that the person of unsound mind, who is the owner of the property, and indeed the other example I gave, the beneficiary under the trust, who may be an infant, who may be a person of very tender years, is deemed to be engaged in the business of a livestock mart?

It is essential to bear this in mind on the definition section and on the amendment we are discussing. Remember what we set out to define here— this is a mistake but it is so—is not what is a livestock mart but what is the business of a livestock mart. We provide in the next section that that business cannot be carried on at any place unless that place is licensed under the Bill. It would be a different matter entirely if the Minister had introduced a Bill, the objective of the definition of which was to define what a livestock mart was and then in the Bill to provide that that place would have to be licensed and would have to comply with regulations laying down whether standards of hygiene or anything else that may be prescribed by the Minister were being complied with.

We are not doing that. We are defining the business of a livestock mart and we are providing that that business cannot be carried on in a place that is not either licensed or exempt under this Bill. If it is carried on in an unlicensed place, an offence is committed. Once we are defining the nature of the business artificially like this, any number of people who are not genuinely engaged in the business at all are brought within the net of that definition. The examples I have given are pretty fair ones. I think they are examples that could occur. There are many other examples which other Deputies might choose to give.

Take the case of a widow whose husband was the breadwinner, who had a bit of property—whether it is a farm or not does not matter—and the widow on the breadwinner's death, finds she could not keep the business going and in order to keep a roof over her children's heads decides to turn the property to account, to find what are the best terms which she can get out of the property and at the same time retain to herself and her family its ownership so that she keeps the capital value. Obviously the thing for her to do is to see if she can get a person who will take a lease or a letting of that property. If she is unfortunate enough, if this Bill is passed as it is, to get the best rent and the best terms from a person who wishes to use the property for the purposes of a livestock mart, then is that widow, merely because she has made the lease and thereby provided the place deemed to be engaged in the business of a livestock mart, guilty of an offence under this Act if that business is carried on without a licence having been obtained from the Minister or without an exemption order having being granted by the Minister? There are a variety of ways in which it is open for a person to be captured by this definition quite accidentally.

I come back to what I said at the beginning. Either the Minister intends that all these transactions and similar transactions are to be brought within the scope of this Bill, or he does not. If he does not mean that they should be brought within the scope of the Bill, then the simple remedy is to accept the amendment and exclude them. If he does mean that they should be brought within the scope of this Bill, then it would be necessary to explain that in detail to Members of the House so that we all have a full appreciation of the proposals which the Minister has brought before us and which are contained in this Bill.

I ask the Minister to let us know the answer to that. Are they in, or are they out? Is it the intention of the Minister to have them in or to have them out?

I do not think that this can be answered by "yes" or "no", "in" or "out", as the Deputy has so very aptly put the question. Commonsense is a commodity which sometimes has a bearing on certain matters and on how these matters are dealt with. I suggest that in this instance very little commonsense has been applied even to consideration being given to the amendment or having it withdrawn before it was discussed by Deputies, particularly by a Deputy like Deputy M.J. O'Higgins, in regard to the treatment of matters such as the interpretation of law.

I can only refer back to what I said, that is, the reverse of the use of commonsense in a situation such as this. The idea of putting this legislation through and thereafter using it contrary to the law of the land—that the person who originally made the lease will be charged—surely is not sensible——

There is no objection——

From what I have heard and from what I have been told, nothing serious has been put forward. In fact, one might ask why is it that the time of the House is being wasted.

That is a good question.

Why are Deputies frittering away time on section 1? Is it that they are afraid to get on to the other sections? Could this be the case?

It is the only way we can tie the Minister up on the definition section.

You are tying yourself up.

I can assure my colleague that that is not possible.

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted, and 20 Members being present,

I rise to support this amendment in the name of Deputy Clinton and I do so because I can envisage a situation not as the Minister sees it. I can see a situation arising at some time in the future where the co-operative mart, or private enterprise mart, might go out of business and the people responsible or who owned this mart might wish to lease it to a few individuals. For example, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, just before Questions today, subsequent to an interjection by Deputy Meaney when he asked were any Fine Gael Deputies members of mart societies, I reminded him that I was a member of Raphoe Mart and I paid a subscription to that committee. I informed him that to the best of my knowledge no members of the Fianna Fáil Party in Donegal were members of co-operative marts. The Minister informed me that this was not so, that he was a member of a co-operative mart in Donegal, to which I replied that to the best of my knowledge he had nothing at all to do with Raphoe Co-operative Mart.

What has this to do with the amendment?

Just bear with me a second.

We are bearing with you a long time; perhaps you would come to the amendment.

It is not often I speak. The Minister assured me that I should get my facts right and that he was a member of the Marts Committee in Raphoe.

I did not say I was a member of a marts committee in Raphoe.

The Minister has made so many misleading statements that we cannot take his word for anything.

I do not want to hear something that was not said and I want to tell the Deputy that it is a lie and if he wants me to, I will go further.

Perhaps we could go on to the amendment.

I beg your indulgence, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle. If I believe what the Minister says is true, then I can envisage a situation in east Donegal of the Minister being a member of the co-operative mart and of my being a member of it.

A Leas-Cheann Comhairle, this blackguarding is not going to go on in my presence by this Deputy. If he wants to misquote me, and if he wants to make lies out of what I have said, then he is not going to get away with it in my presence.

The Minister has denied a statement and it is usual to accept such a denial.

But I quote——

I am not a shareholder in a mart in Raphoe and I never said I was, so will you please quote the truth?

Yes, if you will allow me, and I quote from a typed copy of today's debates:

Mr. Meaney: Are any of the members opposite members of marts?

Mr. Harte: None of the members of the Fianna Fáil Party, to my knowledge, is a member of a marts committee. I hope the Minister heard that remark. I would wager with the Minister that he certainly has nothing in the Raphoe mart. He was to build a straw factory there. Of course, he will deny that as well.

Mr. Blaney: Go and find out.

Mr. Harte: I suppose you deny that you promised to build a straw factory in Raphoe?

Mr. Blaney: Go and find your facts.

Mr. Harte: I am a member of a mart. There is a meeting there tonight.

Mr. Blaney: So am I.

Mr. Harte: I hope you will attend the meeting tonight. Are you?

Mr. Blaney: Yes. That surprises you.

Mr. Harte: It does.

Mr. Blaney: It should not.

Mr. Harte: I did not think you had that much interest in agriculture.

Do you regard that as what took place here?

Yes, this has been taken down in shorthand.

If you admit the inaccuracies that are there, which make no sense as a cross-talk between you and me, I do not.

I am only asking you to accept what is in the Dáil Debates; it was you said it, not I. Shall I quote it again?

No, do not; it is too stupid.

You are retracting something——

The Deputy is inferring that I lied here today. I want to say that the Deputy is a liar and is telling lies at the moment.

I am quoting from the Dáil Debates in which you said you were a member of the Raphoe mart, and you are not. You have made so many misleading statements in this matter——

Do not try again.

You are degrading the standard of the House as you always have; there are charges about bad beef being supplied by me and now when you are asked a simple question, you have told an untruth.

I am not withdrawing it, because you are an emphatic liar.

I submit that I have quoted from the Dáil Debates.

Where did you get that and how did you get that?

I got them to prove you a liar.

The word "lie" should not be used.

It is a misrepresentation of facts by the Minister. A Leas-Cheann Comhairle, the Minister has referred to me as being a liar in quoting something which he said——

Not for quoting, for stating.

May I raise a point of order? The Minister started earlier by referring to Deputy Harte as a liar; Deputy Harte has withdrawn his rejoinder. I suggest, Sir, it is for you, as the Chair, to require the Minister to withdraw——

You will not have to ask me to do that, provided that what went on before Deputy Sweetman came into the House——

I was listening to it all in the gallery.

If you were, you will recall that what I took exception to was what went on before.

It did not.

I am not interested in the Minister; I am asking for a ruling.

I am asking as to whether or not what I denied was to be accepted or not, and your ruling was that it should be, and it has not been.

The Minister stated to Deputy Harte that he had not made a certain statement. In this House, Deputies accept a denial by another Deputy.

With respect, Sir Deputies accept, unless the written record of the House has been produced.

It has not been produced.

It is a record of the House.

We know the Minister wants to go and change it, we are used to that; we are used to his behaviour like that.

Do not start getting personal with me; I do not like it, and I never do.

I will be as personal as I like to the Minister.

I seek the protection of the Chair, inasmuch as the Minister has referred to me as a liar. I want you to ask the Minister to withdraw it or to leave the House.

I want the Deputy to accept what passed here between us today—regardless of a garbled version that has been read out here now, that does not make sense, even to the Deputy—that I did not claim specifically at any time to be a contributor to or a shareholder in the Raphoe Marts Committee but I do emphatically declare that I am a member of a co-op. mart in Donegal, and the evidence is available for anybody who wants it, but not Raphoe.

On a point of order, when this was being debated, prior to Questions, the mart which the Minister now refers to was not mentioned.

Which mart?

The Milford mart. I specifically mentioned that you——

You were making a statement that there was nobody here, least of all the Minister, a contributor to or a shareholder in any mart in the county, and you were caught out.

You said you were attending a meeting in Raphoe tonight.

You asked me was I attending a meeting tonight.

I intervened——

It is about time the Chair intervened.

——at the beginning to point out to Deputy Harte that he was totally out of order in raising this particular matter on the amendment. We have disorder on one side of the House and that side expects order from everyone else. The Minister has denied a statement made by Deputy Harte. It has been usual, in all my years in this House, that a Deputy's denial has been accepted.

Although quoted from the records of the House?

On a further point of order, can we ask Deputy Harte is this the revised quotation he is giving, or is it unrevised?

We are used to people changing quotations when they do not suit.

As a Deputy elected to this House, I am protected by Standing Orders. I ask you, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, as a Deputy elected to this House, am I entitled to certain rights as a Deputy?

Do Standing Orders allow a Minister to refer to a Deputy as a liar? Does the Minister wish to retract it or to admit that he said it? Do you confirm or deny that you said it?

You accept my refutation of what you said I said and then I will gladly withdraw it.

I am quoting what you said in the House, and you have referred to me as a liar.

I did not say that, and you are a liar.

A Leas-Cheann Comhairle——

Am I to understand that you are going to permit this to continue? If you are, then I suggest that you send for the Ceann Comhairle.

I have no intention of sending for the Ceann Comhairle.

I want to protest——

Deputy Harte refused to obey the ruling of the Chair. He brought in a subject that is not relevant to this amendment.

The relevancy of it is this——

It is not relevant. It has nothing to do with the amendment. The Deputy has not adverted to the amendment once. He brought in this matter that has nothing to do with it and from that, the disorder has arisen.

I appreciate your difficulty. You were not here when the Minister and I had some crossfire earlier today and I was envisaging and could see a situation arise when the Minister claimed in my presence, as borne out by the records of the House, that he was a member of——

The Deputy is not entitled to talk about irrelevant subjects on the amendment.

Surely I am entitled to explain the relevance of it?

This is partisan in the extreme. You are protecting the Minister.

I will now ask Deputy Harte to resume his seat.

I will not.

Then the Deputy will leave the House. I am sending for the Ceann Comhairle.

You might as well.

The Deputy is most disorderly.

I agree, and it is in direct protest against your protecting the Minister for Agriculture.

I am not protecting anyone.

You are taking no account of Standing Orders and you know it.

I was referred to as a liar, and if you are acting in the best interests of the Chair and according to the Standing Orders of this House, why did you not ask the Minister for Agriculture to withdraw that?

The Deputy referred to the Minister as a liar.

I did of course, and I withdrew it.

You did not withdraw the lie though.

There it is there. You are caught out—your wild charges, your abuse—in the same way as you were caught out by the county council in Donegal.

That has nothing to do with the amendment.

I know the Minister too well to fall for his bluff.

You will not be here again: this is your last trip.

Might I suggest an adjournment for ten minutes and things might sort themselves out?

Is the House adjourned for ten minutes?

I am suggesting to the Chair that we might adjourn for ten minutes.

It makes no difference because you are making no headway.

It might help things to cool down.

That is a possibility.

The Minister might have a chance to have the records interfered with. It is not the first time it has happened.

I do not go chasing them around like you do. You went chasing up there——

I asked for them to be sent to me.

Why? To send them doctored to the papers, to put in what you wanted in and take out what you wanted out.

You are caught out this time.

Not at all.

An Ceann Comhairle took the Chair.

A Cheann Comhairle, I have to report Deputy Harte to the Chair. Deputy Harte has been grossly disorderly in refusing to obey the demands of the Chair to relate his remarks to the amendment before the House. He continued, and I asked him to leave the House. This he refused to do.

Am I allowed to make a statement to you?

No. I regret I must name Deputy Harte to the House for disobedience to the directions of the Chair.

In normal circumstances, I would——

On a point of order, is the position that the Chair is deeming Standing Orders inadequate to deal with the situation?

I am dealing with it.

With respect, there are Standing Orders regarding the conduct of our proceedings.

I am dealing with the Standing Orders and precedents.

The Standing Order in question, I think, is Standing Order No. 49. It seems to me that it is only in cases where the Chair deems the Standing Order not sufficient that he can then proceed to name in accordance with another Standing Order.

I am dealing with it in accordance with precedent.

Do I understand you to rule then that it is in order for a Minister to call a Deputy a liar but it is not in order for a Deputy to call the Minister a liar? I have always voted to support the Chair but the ruling of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle was so outrageous——