Finance Bill, 1970: Committee Stage (Resumed).

Debate resumed on the following amendment:
30. In page 29, before section 54, to insert the following section:
(1) In this section—
"the Commission" means the Pigs and Bacon Commission.
"licence" means a licence within the meaning of section 23 of the Pigs and Bacon Act, 1935, or a pork exporter's licence within the meaning of section 12 (2) of the Agricultural Produce (Fresh Meat) Act, 1930.
(2) The Minister for Finance, after consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, may by order do any one or more of the following:
(a) impose a levy of such amount as he thinks proper on every pig brought on to premises to which a licence relates and provide that the holder of a licence shall pay to the Commission the amount of any such levies on any pigs brought on to the premises to which the licence relates,
(b) provide for the payment of levies imposed under this section at specified intervals and in a specified manner,
(c) impose different rates of levy on pigs of different classes and provide that levies shall not be payable on pigs of a specified class or classes,
(d) authorise the Commission—
(i) to grant exemption, if and whenever it so thinks fit, from payment of levies under this section (either for a specified period or without limit as to time) on a specified number of pigs or on pigs of a class or classes specified under paragraph (e) of this subsection or on pigs of any category or categories specified by the Commission (by reference to such matters as it thinks fit) in the exemption, and
(ii) to revoke, if and whenever it so thinks fit, an exemption granted by virtue of this paragraph.
(e) specify, for the purposes of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this subsection, different classes of pigs (by reference to such matters as the Minister thinks fit),
(f) apply the provisions of section 38 and section 39 of the Pigs and Bacon (Amendment) Act, 1939, to levies payable under this section,
(g) revoke or amend an order under this section.
(3) Any levy payable pursuant to an order under this section shall be in addition to and not in substitution for any levy payable under the Pigs and Bacon Acts, 1935 to 1961.
(4) All moneys received by the Commission in respect of levies under this section shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in accordance with the directions of the Minister for Finance.
(5) Every order under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution is passed by either House within the next twenty-one days upon which that House has sat after the order has been laid before it annulling the order, the order shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.—(Minister for Finance.)

When progress was reported last evening we were talking about this amendment which proposes to put a levy on certain types of pigs as specified by the Minister. In introducing this amendment, the Minister was very careful to mention nothing except smuggled pigs so that the House would appreciate the desirability of this piece of legislation which I assert was being introduced surreptitiously in order to cover all pigs in the country.

I do not know why there is need for this legislation. We have reached the point where the Department of Finance now consider that there are grounds for suspecting that numbers of pigs have been imported illegally during the past two years. Was there ever such a revelation in this House? For as long as I can remember pigs were smuggled across the Border. Therefore, it is nonsense for the Department to say that they are suspicious that this traffic is taking place. Whenever we brought this subject up in the House we were told that there was nothing whatever to worry about but now it appears that the Department of Finance are becoming worried and are taking it on themselves to do the work of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries as well as their own.

As most people in the House will be aware, there is already in operation in this country a grading system for the purpose of dealing with undesirable types of pigs. There are many grades and the prices paid for the different grades vary greatly. I ask the Minister in what way this new legislation will improve the situation. The Minister should appreciate that pigs cannot be produced to measure in the same way as can a suit of clothes, or an overcoat and that no matter how good a job has been done in pig production there are bound to be some pigs that will not be grade A specials as well as some that will not be grade A's, grade B's and so on.

I have been reading details of the grading given by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in the JunePig Bulletin, 1970. According to this publication the situation with regard to the different grades at the 30th of May, 1970, was as follows: Grade A specials, 52 per cent; Grade A's, 21 per cent; Grade A's—L—7 per cent; Grade B's, 14 per cent; Grade C's, 4 per cent; and Grade X which is this outrageous type of animal that we want to catch now with another net, 2 per cent. In the heavier grades—upwards of 150 and 160 lbs—we had 62 per cent Grade A's—L—28 per cent B's, 9 per cent C's and, again, this outrageous animal, Grade X, 1 per cent.

As I see it, we have more Grade A's and A specials and these are the only type of pigs that the Department are anxious should be produced. Of course, we all desire to improve the quality as far as possible. That is the reason for this grading system. It is a system that has been discussed and agreed to by the various farming organisations. However, in spite of all that, the Department of Finance want to override the arrangements that have been made between the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the producers and the Pigs and Bacon Commission. They want to introduce something they can hit hard themselves. If it costs the Department of Finance £3, £4 or £5 a pig for the export of bacon from this country they will ensure they get it back from the producers. This is deplorable and it is overriding the Pigs and Bacon Commission, farming organisations and all those people who know something about producing pigs. The Pigs and Bacon Commission say this is costing them something and they suspect that those people are not trying to produce pigs of the grade which will not cost them so much money. They then decide to take the job over themselves because obviously the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries is not fit for his job and it is time they moved in, took this thing seriously and hit those people.

Everybody in the House knows that in producing pigs you are bound to have a percentage which will not be up to the desired grade. According to the grading I have read out for that particular week in June there are approximately 25 per cent in regard to which I believe the Department of Finance from now on will decide: "We will give those the hammer and we will get back what we are paying in subsidy for bacon exports in this manner." This is deplorable. There are various grades for which every week the prices paid by the factories are published. I will read out the figures for last Monday. I do not have to say whether it is Clover Meats, McCarrons or O'Mearas because they are all the same. The figures given were: Grade A Special, 303s; Grade A, 300s; Grade AL, 295s; Lean Pigs, 295s; Grade B and C, 280s. This is a typical sample. Pigs not measuring up to those standards can be paid for at whatever price the factories decide to give because there is no fixed price. If the processing factories buy unsuitable pigs they do not get paid by any Minister afterwards so those pigs have to be disposed of. They cannot be exported. They must be sold within the country. Nobody wants to encourage the production of inferior quality pigs but there are all those safeguards. The Department of Agriculture operate a grading system which is intended to eliminate the production of unsuitable pigs and the factories operate a price prescribed by the Department.

That is not sufficient for the Department of Finance. We are here giving a further blow to an industry which is already doing very badly. I have a copy of theFarmers' Journal of 4th July, 1970. There is a heading in big, black print: “Big Drop in Pig Numbers”. Is the Minister for Finance trying to kill the industry altogether? The article in this paper says that there is an enormous drop in the numbers of pigs delivered to the factories since May of the present year; that some of this is seasonal but there is ample evidence to indicate a fantastic drop in the number of pigs smuggled into the country and that this is due in part at least to the fact that they are now paying much more for pigs in Northern Ireland than they were heretofore, except for the heavy pig. It is just admitting defeat, that we are not able to stop the traffic at the Border and that we are not taking the steps necessary to stop it. We decide on this crude measure that if those pigs are coming in from the North of Ireland we will take the money back from the producers here because we will hit his pigs as well even though his may be a small percentage. It is obvious the intention of the Department of Finance is to hit 25 per cent of the pigs produced in this country. Further explanation is required before the Minister can justify this to this House. I do not believe he invented the idea. I believe it was invented by somebody in the Department of Finance who knows nothing about pig production, who knows one thing only, that is how to get money from sources other than the Department of Finance. This reminds me of the turnover tax which we discussed previously. You hit everybody but get it back in the crudest manner possible. People should be put on the Border to stop the traffic there.

We all agree the farmers of this country are doing a good job in improving standards. There is no levy imposed on the bacon processor or on the curer who produces a deplorable cure. Everybody knows that you can buy bacon which nobody could eat because it is not properly cured. There is no way of fining the curer. The only thing you can do is put him out of business. I fought for years on this and I do not know if anything has been done about it. Nobody wants to close down bacon curers because of the unemployment which will be created and therefore nothing is ever done. Immediately the producer goes off the rails he will be hit. Is there any other place where less than a top quality product can be hit in this way by a levy? This must be unique. I ask Deputies to reject this amendment out of hand.

I should like to get some information from the Minister. The wording of the section as it is in the Bill is either most unfortunate or is intended to do something with which I could not agree. Would the Minister let us know exactly what is intended? I certainly agree with most of what Deputy Mark Clinton said last night and this morning although there are some things I would not agree with. He said if people in factories are producing a substandard product every effort is made to prevent the continuance of the manufacture of that product and to improve it so that only first class material is produced. As far as pigs are concerned it is absolutely impossible in many cases to produce the first class animal which is required. Sometimes it is the feeding and sometimes the breeding which is the cause of this. It may turn out that a particular type of animal is produced. Is it the idea that the substandard pig is to be levied or is it the suggestion that pig smuggling, no matter what standard the animals are, is respected, that the pigs going into the factories are smuggled and are to be levied? I am not clear about this at the present time. I live near enough to the Border to know how this pig smuggling racket works. Some people find it extraordinary that it should continue but in fact it is simply a matter of most of the pigs being walked across the Border. They are in the Six Counties and in two minutes they are in the Republic. If pigs start running they can be scattered all over the place. It is quite a usual thing to see an innocent looking man walking along trying to put pigs back across the Border when he sees a car coming. The pigs have broken across and there is nothing you can do about it except put them back. As soon as the car goes off he proceeds to rush them as quickly as he can into somebody else's field until eventually they are taken away. I know the arrangement usually made is that there are two sections involved. If the man on the far side of the Border loses them, he carries the loss. If they are brought across the Border and seized in the Republic, the man in the Republic loses them; he carries the loss. That is the racket. But they are doing quite well with the pigs they get across.

I do not agree with Deputy Clinton that smuggled pigs saved our market. We require the market and the pigs, but the amount the taxpayer has to pay is so high that there is really no credit. What we gain on the swings we lose on the roundabouts. Would the Minister let us know what exactly is intended because I believe we may misunderstand the intention? If my interpretation is correct I could not possibly support this amendment. The Minister may be able to explain it in such a way as to change my mind.

I have tried to follow this Bill closely on the different Stages. I cannot really understand how pigs have got into the Finance Bill. Perhaps the Minister would indicate the amount the levy is likely to yield. Some estimate must have been made. I appreciate the points made by Deputy Clinton and others. There is an onus on the Minister to justify the introduction of pigs into the Finance Bill and the circumstances in which this amendment was introduced because this is not a matter that can be regarded as relevant to the Finance Bill in the ordinary way.

The Minister was less than honest last night when he introduced this amendment. He stated its purpose was to catch smuggled pigs. One cannot identify smuggled pigs. They do not go into the bacon factory wearing a sash or a Union Jack. If the Minister, or his colleague, the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, is serious about identifying smuggled pigs he should arrange with his counterpart in the Six Counties to have pigs marked in the Six Counties so that, if they do enter the Republic, they can be easily identified. The Minister admitted last night that it was not easy to identify pigs.

I said it was not possible. That is so obvious there should be no need to debate it.

Then why did the Minister say the purpose of the amendment was to catch smuggled pigs?

I did not say it was to be applied only to smuggled pigs.

The only pigs the Minister mentioned were smuggled pigs.

The Minister said that this amendment was specifically designed to catch smuggled pigs.

On section 39.

The purpose of the enabling powers in this section is to deal with the illegal importation of fat pigs.

That is how the Minister introduced the amendment.

I am afraid Deputies will really have to pay a little more attention and, if they want to parse and analyse, they should do so accurately.

Apparently we have to.

I do not know why the Minister has to introduce an amendment concerning levies because, already in the Pigs and Bacon Acts, 1935 to 1963, levies are being collected from bacon factories in respect of pigs. I should like the Minister to explain why it is necessary now to introduce amending legislation under a different Act for yet another levy. What is the purpose of this levy? Why not amend the Pigs and Bacon Acts thereby keeping the levy in its proper place, so to speak?

I should also like the Minister to explain the use to which the revenue from these levies will be put. I should hope it would be earmarked for the development of the pigs and bacon industry or the improvement of the Pigs and Bacon Commission. In subsection (4) this is not specified. The subsection states:

All moneys received by the Commission in respect of levies under this section shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in accordance with the directions of the Minister for Finance.

This leads me to believe that the levy is not designed to offset subsidies in respect of bacon exports. It is a very discriminatory amendment in so far as subsection (2) (a) leaves it to the Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, to impose different types of levies on different licensees. The House is entitled, I think, to a very full explanation as to what is intended under subsections (a) and (c).

Deputy Clinton, I think, said that these levies would be on pigs other than export pigs. That is not stated in the amendment and the Minister should, therefore, make it quite clear to the House what is, in fact, intended. Is it intended to put a levy on pigs sold on the home market thereby making bacon and pork dearer for consumers here? If that is the intention it is a very bad policy. Is it intended to recoup the export subsidy? This seems to be some what ridiculous. A report compiled by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries states that the bacon industry is, in fact, only working at 50 per cent capacity. What point is there then in increasing levies on such an industry? Is it the intention to ruin the industry altogether? I think it must be because in the Budget statement it was stated that the guaranteed price for grade A pigs was to go up by 10s per cwt. In point of fact, the actual price to the farmers was not increased by that amount. It was codology to say the guaranteed price was to go up by 10s per cwt.

I cannot understand why in subsection (2) (d) the Minister for Finance may authorise the commission to grant exemption or to revoke. I should like to know why the Minister does not retain that right himself. I feel that different factories can be picked for exemption. Is this intended? Is it intended to have some types of factories only paid a levy? I do not see how this amendment fits in with our application to the EEC. We will not be able to subsidise our exports of pork and bacon if we go into the EEC so I do not see why we are complicating an industry where, in a year's time, we may have to abolish all subsidies. The House is entitled to a very clear explanation from the Minister of the reason for this amendment —what is intended; what types of pigs and what factories will be affected.

The Minister will need to provide some very concrete evidence as to how what is effectively a levy on low-quality pigs can deal with the importation of pigs. There does not seem to be a link between the two. This question of a penal levy on low quality may be setting a dangerous precedent. Is there any precedent in financial legislation for this sort of penal clause in relation to other commodities? It seems rather a bad way of ensuring high quality by providing this sort of penal approach. I should like some information from the Minister on precedents for this type of thing.

As I said when introducing this amendment, it is intended to deal with the illegal importation of pigs. It has nothing whatever to do with inducing better quality in pigs. It has nothing whatever to do with the gaining of revenue. It is designed solely to enable us to deal with the problem of smuggling. We have had numerous complaints about smuggling in this House and outside. Nobody has come up with any foolproof method of preventing this smuggling. It is so self-evident that, if this levy were to apply only to smuggled pigs, we would not have a problem—I did not expand on this last night: obviously, we would know which were smuggled pigs and we would have no problem. This is an attempt to deal with this problem. Of course, it is not a foolproof, ideal method. I certainly would not claim that. However, it is an effort to control the smuggling of pigs and it is not designed to do any other thing. It has nothing to do with agricultural policy nor is it intended to operate as a form of revenue-gatherer for the Exchequer. It is not expected that it will do so. The main thing it is intended to do is to remove the incentive which at present exists for the smuggling of pigs.

The pigs which are smuggled are in general either the very light or the very heavy type of pig. Therefore, it is anticipated that the levy would be applied to those classes of pigs. As has been pointed out, the Pigs and Bacon Commission already collect a levy on pigs in discharge of their functions under the Pigs and Bacon Act. The levy under that Act is a fixed levy for all pigs and all classes of pigs. There are no powers to vary that rate of levy in relation to different classes of pigs. Therefore, that levy is not relevant in so far as what we are trying to do here is concerned. The point is that a levy is already operated. In order to comply with the requirements of the Pigs and Bacon Act, licence holders are required to count, weigh and, in the case of bacon pigs within specified weight ranges, to grade carcases of pigs brought on to their premises. This operation is carried out under the supervision either of an officer of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries or of the Pigs and Bacon Commission. Records are kept and are available for inspection.

While an order under this proposed section would specify different classes of pigs, by reference to such matters as the Minister thinks fit, in practical terms the specification would be related as far as possible to particulars which are already available in the factory. For example, pigs could be classified by weight or by grade, or both, in such a way as to create a minimum of disturbance of existing procedures. The number of pigs likely to be affected would depend on the classes of pigs specified in the order, if such an order were made.

At the present time, the incentives to smuggle pigs are confined to very light and very heavy pigs. If a levy were confined to those classes only, it is unlikely that more than approximately 10 per cent of all pigs slaughtered would be subject to a levy. Since this percentage is almost certain to include most of the smuggled pigs, the percentage of domestically-produced pigs which might be affected would be appreciably lower than that.

Any adverse effects on our own producers are avoidable by them if they can sell their pigs in a condition which would qualify for classes where the levy did not apply. On the whole, the lowering of prices for a small number of certain classes of pigs has to be balanced against the very heavy cost in subsidies to pig producers and taxpayers if smuggling is continued. Farmers have been sufficiently concerned about this problem of pig smuggling that, over several months last winter, they organised Border patrols to try to intercept the smugglers. They were not successful, as we know. This, and certain things said in the debate, underline the difficulties of the problem.

This is an approach to the problem which it is thought would be the most effective way open to us. From the description of the operation given by Deputy Tully, I think it will be seen that it is not solvable simply by manpower. It is true also that, to the extent that we can reduce the incentives for smuggling pigs—and therefore reduce the number of pigs smuggled— there will be better opportunities for increasing our own pig output and enabling us to avail of the market opportunities which are being developed by the Pigs and Bacon Commission.

Deputy Clinton, when speaking about this—particularly last night— seemed to consider that the powers given in his amendment are wide open and would lead to all sorts of abuses. I would point out that, in the amendment as drafted, the Minister for Finance can act under this section only by way of making an Order following consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and that order will be laid before the House and may be challenged by Deputies. What would be proposed to be done would be specified in the order and that order is not intended to apply to all pigs.

Subsection (2) (c) provides for the imposition of different rates of levy on pigs of different classes provided that levies shall not be payable on pigs on a specified class or classes. As I have said, what is intended is to apply a levy only to such classes as may be likely to contain significant numbers of smuggled pigs. The discretion of the Pigs and Bacon Commission to exempt certain pigs within a class from the levy will have to be authorised by order and, to do that, the Minister for Finance will have to be satisfied that it is operating in a fair manner. The Minister will have powers to revoke or amend an order relating to the commission's authority to exempt pigs from the levy. Primarily what is intended there is that, where there are home produced pigs coming within the terms of the class to which the levy applies which can be clearly shown to be home produced pigs and not smuggled, they would be exempt where this can be clearly demonstrated. The object is to reduce to the minimum the impact of such levies on the home producers.

I want to repeat that this provision has nothing whatever to do with agricultural policy or with encouraging the production of certain classes of pigs or discouraging other classes, nor has it anything to do with the raising of revenue. It is designed solely to assist in dealing with the problem of the illegal importation of pigs.

(Cavan): The Minister has told us time and again since this discussion started that the object of this section is to eliminate or to prevent the smuggling of pigs from the Six Counties into the Republic. He has not told us, so far as I am aware, what the extent of that smuggling problem is. He has not told us what is involved, numerically speaking or in cost to the State. This appears to me to be a case of lifting a sledgehammer to kill a fly. Indeed, for years that policy has been creeping into many Bills introduced in this House. The tendency seems to be to adopt all too drastic measures to deal with what are comparatively small problems.

As I see this, we are imposing a levy on certain types of pigs, and that levy will be paid either by the producer or the consumer. Within the past few weeks I had occasion in this House to raise the question of the cost of feedingstuffs to pig producers. I satisfied myself, at any rate, and I think many others, that the cost of pig feeding rations had gone up very considerably between September, 1969, and the present time and that, as a result, the profits from pig producing and pig fattening had gone down. I demonstrated clearly that the cost of one popular brand of pig feeding ration had gone up by as much as £4 per ton over that period and that the cost of other types of pig rations had gone up proportionately.

The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries did not accept what I said, of course. As a matter of fact, he was less than gracious about the whole thing. Nevertheless I am satisfied, and the people who briefed me are satisfied, that the profit to be gained from pigs has gone down considerably and that many people are remaining in pigs because they have invested a good deal of capital in piggeries and that sort of thing and are hoping for better times.

As I see it, this proposal will tend further to reduce the profit on pigs. Either that or it will put up the price to the consumer. It is bound to do one or the other. The Minister should tell us what he believes to be involved in pig smuggling. He should tell us how many pigs he believes are being smuggled into the State and what that is costing the taxpayer. As I say, this will further reduce the profit on pigs. At first I thought the section gave the Minister power to impose this levy on pigs suspected of being smuggled. I do not know whether that is so, but I do not think it is.

(Cavan): I certainly hope it is not because I would then fear for the Border counties and the areas such as the one I come from. The Minister said in his last few remarks that, if it could be demonstrated that pigs were home produced and home fattened, they would be exempt. I do not know how that could be proved. Instead of introducing this section, the Minister should strengthen the Border patrols. He should strengthen the personnel at his disposal for the prevention of pig smuggling.

Would the Deputy not think from Deputy Tully's description that this would not get us anywhere?

(Cavan): I was born a little nearer to the Border than Deputy Tully. I was born within a mile of it. In my young days I fished in the river that divides Monaghan from Fermanagh.

The pigs kept the river muddy for the Deputy.

(Cavan): I probably know as much about pigs as Deputy Tully or the Minister. I believe that the numbers being illegally imported could be substantially reduced. The Minister says this will involve a total of 10 per cent of the pigs delivered to the factories and that that will cover the whole country from Tralee to Donegal. He says that this 10 per cent includes the over-fat or under-weight pigs in the whole country and that it will include the number of smuggled pigs. So, it appears to me that the percentage of smuggled pigs must be small, on the Minister's figure. If, instead of introducing this mallet to deal with everybody and everything, the Minister were to strengthen the forces at his disposal for the prevention of smuggling and, in that way, further reduce the number of pigs being illegally imported, he would then, in my respectful opinion, have on his hands a problem of so insignificant proportions that it would not justify this section.

I certainly urge on the Minister that before he goes on with this—he has confined himself now to 10 per cent; this section will cover 10 per cent including home produced pigs—to tell the House what is the make-up of that 10 per cent. What percentage of it applies to home produced pigs legitimately bred and fattened here and what percentage relates to illegally imported pigs?

Earlier I asked the Minister if he would explain certain things and I am afraid he has not explained them to my satisfaction. I fail to see the Minister's logic. If I understand him correctly he said that only very fat or very lean pigs are smuggled and that this levy would be confined to those two classes.

In the main those are the ones that are smuggled.

I cannot understand why if we know so much about the type of pig that is smuggled we are unable to stop the smuggling. I agree pigs do not come across the Border either with the Union Jack or waving a Tricolour but there is something extraordinary about this. In fairness to the Minister I think he would never have attempted to put this section into a Finance Bill and I suggest to him that he will not lose face, in view of the fact that it is not his brainchild, if he withdraws the section and tries to get it into some legislation dealing with agriculture. It will not work here. Not alone is it an impossible section, as he has described it here, but it is absolutely impossible to administer. While it is all right for the Minister to say that at present 10 per cent would represent the type of pigs he wants to cover, there are periods of the year when the percentage will be naturally very much higher. Again, how does he propose to tell the people in Cork or in Galway or in the south or west of Ireland that they are having a levy imposed on their pigs because they are approximately the same weight as the pigs usually smuggled? Would the Minister consider that aspect of it and would he not agree that the whole proposal is ridiculous?

I shall not start an argument with Deputy Fitzpatrick about how the pigs come in but from personal knowledge I know that pigs have been imported in very large numbers from time to time.

(Cavan): Has the Deputy ever tried to drive a pig?

Not one—it is very difficult to drive one pig. I suggest the Deputy should try 20 or 30 or 100 and he would find it is a very different problem. That is where he makes the mistake. Like the Minister, his logic is weak there.

(Cavan): I drove one for four miles——

There is always an awkward pig among them.

I should hate to tell the Deputy what happens to the awkward pig in the case of smuggling. This section is so impossible to work and so unfair that even if the Minister succeeded in getting it through the House he should, instead, consider withdrawing the whole section and allow the Bill to proceed. If he does not do that, I do not know what other parties will do but we shall have to vote against the section because it cannot be allowed to go through the House unchallenged. It is unfair no matter what way you look at it. The whole idea was the brainchild of somebody who did not understand what he was trying to do. Possibly somebody suggested that this was the way of dealing with the problem but he had no knowledge of the subject. Again, I ask the Minister to withdraw the section so that we shall not waste any more time on it.

I want to refer to what the Minister said about this section covering in his estimation about 10 per cent of total pig numbers. Does the Minister appreciate that when this smuggling was known to be taking place in a big way at one stage some of us suggested in the House that the traffic might even reach a couple of thousand pigs each week? We were laughed to scorn by the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Agriculture at the time. On my calculation, 10 per cent of the total pigs in this country is in the region of 200,000 pigs.

That is correct.

That is not a small number. The Minister has not given us his estimate of the number of smuggled pigs but we can take it that at least half of those will be pigs produced in this country by Irish producers. I should like the Minister to explain why the present grading system has failed.

Failed to do what?

Failed to catch the heavy pig. The Minister has said that this is designed purely to deal with the illegal importation of fat pigs. In the next breath he said that nobody can identify a smuggled pig, that he does not wear a Union Jack. We agree with that: if we could identify them there should be provision to confiscate them immediately but because we cannot identify them the innocent must suffer with the guilty, so to speak.

Somebody at my elbow says that the only thing is for Irish pigs to have a birth certificate from now on. We are doing this at a time when the industry is failing and when we have reports, to which I have referred, in theFarmers' Journal saying that something must really be done for the pig industry. But what we are doing is imposing a further levy on pigs that do not reach a certain grade. I think I should quote further from this Farmers' Journal report:

Equally serious, Government support for the industry is not keeping pace either with the increasing cost of meal. Since last September meal prices have jumped £3 10s to £4 a ton. This adds 25s to 26s extra to the cost of turning out a pig. To compensate, the Government gave 10s a cwt increase last October on As and Specials. Another 10s was not passed on. Instead, in June an extra 5s 6d per cwt was given on Extra Selected, 4s 6d on Grade As. All added up, this brings the increase since last August on top grades to approximately 15s a cwt or just under £1 a pig. Now, balance that against 25s to 26s a pig. Any wonder pig numbers failed to increase!

The farmers are complaining; theFarmers' Journal is complaining that pig numbers are not increasing, that cow numbers are not increasing, and we want to try to maintain a foothold in the British market. Now, we are deciding to bring in the special levy and the Minister, I assume—it is not specified—is to specify the different classes that are to be hit by this special levy. This is a new role for a Minister for Finance if he is to specify the class of pig that does not measure up to his idea of what is a good pig.

It is all confusion. This is not the way to tackle the smuggling that has been going on for years. I think the way to tackle it is through greater co-operation with the Ministry in the North of Ireland; go and talk to them and see how this problem can jointly be dealt with. You will certainly not deal with it by putting a further impost on our producers who say they are already getting less than they were getting six or 12 months ago. This is the way to kill the industry. It is the way to increase prices to the consumers here because it is only inferior bacon that the consumer here is getting. We export everything that is Grade A and Grade A Special. The consumer must eat the lower grade bacon and he must pay the levy, not the curer. The way it is put here anybody would get the impression that it was the curer who would pay this levy out of his own pocket. That is very foolish because all these costs are passed on to the consumer. It will be either the pig producer or the consumer who will have to pay it. No farmer or producer can produce pigs made to measure. There will always be a percentage of pigs that will come into the grades and categories the Minister says he wants to hit by this new section in the Bill. If the Minister is really sensible about this Bill at all, he will withdraw this provision and agree from what everybody has to say here that it is an unwise way to attempt to deal with a different problem altogether. This is not the way to deal with a smuggling problem.

I, too, would recommend the Minister to withdraw this amendment. It is an ill-advised and unnecessary piece of legislation and a stupid way to deal with the problem the Minister says he wants to deal with. I was surprised to hear the Minister say that it was largely light pigs or heavy pigs that have been smuggled. I understand that Grade A weight pigs have come in just as much as the light pigs or heavy pigs, and I believe his information is wrong in this respect. If the levy is to be imposed on light pigs and heavy pigs, this will complicate no end the day-to-day workings in factories. Factories will now have to go through the commission, apparently, to find out if Johnny Murphy's pigs are liable to levy or if Jack Smith's pigs are supposed to have been smuggled.

Is the Deputy serious now or is he just making a case for the sake of talking?

I am serious.

If he is serious, did he listen to what I said, that they are already operating a grading system and that we would endeavour to fit in with the system they are operating?

I understand that, but will the Minister allow Irish producers' pigs to escape the levy? Let us suppose the factory has a regular customer living five miles away. Will he have to pay a levy on light and heavy pigs?

What I have said is that the order will specify that the levy will apply to certain classes. They could be easily identified in any category because they are already identifying them. There is provision also for the exemption from the levy of pigs coming within the specified class. I indicated that would operate only where it could be shown conclusively that the pigs concerned were home-produced pigs. There are certain circumstances in which this could be shown but it would not be a question of people having to come along and prove it. It would be specified in the order how they could be exempted.

Therefore, all light pigs and all heavy pigs will be subject to this levy?

The Deputy will appreciate that the situation changes from time to time and that the order will have to take account of what is happening from time to time.

Would the Minister not agree that it will complicate matters within the factories?

Not in the way the Deputy was indicating before.

Yes. I stand over what I said. It will be very awkward for factories to find out who is exempt from this levy. It is wrong to impose a levy on light pigs and heavy pigs. Either impose a levy of 10 per cent globally or do not impose it at all. Another factor which has not been mentioned is the destination of these smuggled pigs. Are they going to factories near the Border? I doubt very much if they are going to factories in the southern and western parts of the Republic? It is a very long journey. Why then impose a levy on those factories?

There is another point on which I should like the Minister to give us his opinion. Sheep imported from the North of Ireland are punched in the ear. Would it not be possible to have pigs punched in the ear in the North of Ireland with the agreement of the Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture? This would be a simple thing to do. The argument might be made that some pigs fight and their ears are eaten off, but the number affected are so infinitesimal that one could forget about them. This suggestion, if adopted, would get nearer to the solution of the problem, and it would eliminate the imposition of a levy on factories in an industry which is not thriving, in which the population of pigs is falling and which is not working to capacity. Why make things awkward in the factory, resulting in consumers and producers having to pay a certain amount of this levy? I would recommend to the Minister the withdrawal of this amendment.

(Cavan): The more one considers this proposal the more absurd it becomes. It is clear now from the Minister's own case that he concedes that the proposed levy will not hit all smuggled pigs. He said that, by and large, smuggled pigs are either light or heavy. Therefore, even when this becomes law and the regulations are made it will still be possible to smuggle pigs into this country and escape the levy. Therefore, his proposal is not foolproof and that is another argument why he should drop this provision and do as I say: strengthen the preventive forces on the Border and reduce the problem to insignificant proportions.

When I spoke last I referred to the fact that pig production in this country was becoming less profitable, that I had made that case on an Adjournment debate some time ago and that this proposal will reduce the profits still further. When I made that case before I quoted the figures showing that the price of pig feeding had gone up by £4 a ton between September, 1969, and June of this year. The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries would not agree with me and he quoted two extracts from theFarmers' Journal which he alleged showed that everything in the garden was lovely, that people were rushing into pig production, that there were more sows in the country and all the rest of it. I should like to have heard Deputy Clinton putting on the record of this House an extract from the Farmers' Journal of 4th July, 1970, which corroborated every word I said in the Adjournment debate and which proved that the cost of pig rations is going up out of proportion to the increase in the price of bacon, that the net result is that the profit to farmers is falling, that the tendency is for them to get out of pig production, and that there are fewer pigs being delivered to factories this year than there were last year.

The same article suggests that fewer pigs are being smuggled from the Six Counties into the Republic this year than last year. I understood the Minister to say, and I should like to have this clarified, that he has some proposal in mind for incorporation in the regulations under which pig A of a given weight will be subject to the levy and pig B of the same weight may be exempt from the levy because it will come within a specified class. I should be glad if the Minister would let us know what exactly he has in mind. There is no problem about applying the levy to pigs of a certain weight but it is a little bit beyond me to understand how the Minister is going to apply this levy to pig A of a given weight and to exempt pig B of the same weight, unless it is going to be done on some sort of hit and miss basis.

The Minister said that this proposal has nothing to do with agricultural policy—it is quite clear that it has not —and that it has nothing to do with the levying of revenue for the State. I also concede that. He says that it is simply designed to prevent pig smuggling. It has all the appearances of such a proposal, a blanket proposal of the Revenue Commissioners to deal with a comparatively small problem of pig smuggling with a total disregard for its effects on agricultural policy, on pig production, on the profits of pigs or on the cost of living. I do not subscribe at all to the idea that pig smuggling is a very easy business. Before the pigs are walked across the Border they have to be conveyed to the Border and as far as I am aware there is no bacon factory within several miles of the Border. The Minister may take it from me that the pigs are not marched through fields from the Border to factories. They are put into lorries or put into vans and brought there. It should be possible by strengthening the anti-smuggling brigade to deal with this problem.

There is no point in the Minister coming in here and saying: "I am here as Minister for Finance; I am dealing with the revenue laws and with the protection of the revenue and I have no concern as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries." He should say whether he thinks the effect of this levy will be further to reduce the profits on pigs. He should tell the House how he is going to levy pig A and exempt pig B of the same weight. He should tell the House what orthodox steps he has taken in recent years to eliminate pig smuggling which have failed. He should tell the House whether the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries approves of this section, whether there has been prior consultation with him or whether the consultation referred to in the proposed section is an after-thought and whether it is going to be post-consultation.

Pig smuggling, if it is a problem, has been going on for a long time. Why was this section not put into the original Finance Bill which was drafted some time ago? Why has it come along now as an after-thought to deal with this problem? These are questions which we, representing rural Ireland, are entitled to put to the Minister and which he should answer. We have not heard any of the Fianna Fáil rural Deputies expressing their views. I wonder do they approve of it. They will come in and vote, of course, because the Minister puts on the Whip but I do not believe that they could possibly subscribe to an absurd piece of legislation like this, that is going to hit without any regard, as the Minister says, to agricultural policy, quite a——

I did not say "without regard".

(Cavan): Well, the Minister said that it had nothing to do with agricultural policy.

That is right. That is a different thing.

(Cavan): It seems to me to be the same thing. It seems to me that it has not been taken into consideration. It is a piece of legislation which will hit a comparatively wide section of the pig producing population from one end of the country to the other in order to deal with what as far as we know is an insignificant problem and which, according to the Farmers' Journal, which the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries was so proud to quote to me, is on the decline instead of on the increase. It is stated there in black and white that the amount of smuggling this year is less than it was last year because prices have increased in the north. We are introducing this absurd method of dealing with this declining problem and if the Minister consults seriously with members of his own party he will scrap it. It may be that these regulations may never be made but, nevertheless, it is a dangerous piece of legislation to put on the Statute Book.

I should like to say that I, too, am shocked by this amendment to the Finance Bill the import of which we did not fully realise until last night. I come from a constituency in which not many pigs are reared but I am contiguous to Monaghan and Cavan where they rear many pigs and I know a good deal about the pig trade. I am involved in the production of pig meal. For these reasons I have many contacts with the trade. I know how pigs are sold, why certain pigs make better money than grading would give them if they went to the factories and I know that this is an advantage to the farmer. Over the past ten years a continuous effort has been made to create a situation whereby all pigs would be graded. The advantage to the farmer of having pigs which did not go to the factory but were used for pork was that the pigs for pork, of necessity, for their flavour and tenderness, needed more fat. While there was a necessity for grading because of the very much larger number of pigs that went for bacon—it must be graded because too much fat is not wanted—than the number that went for pork there was, at the same time, a nice trade for pork pigs for which the price available was as high as if the pigs had been of the higher grade for bacon.

I know the Pigs and Bacon Commission have been trying to get their hands on this pork trade because they considered it was not desirable that the farmer could get such a good price for a pig that was not up to grade. They want to help the farmer by punishing him. Perhaps it might have meant that they could have given, say, 6d a cwt. more for all the bacon pigs if they got their hands on the pork pigs and thereby control the price paid to the farmer. It is a fact that a farmer could get from a pig dealer as good a price for a well-fleshed porker pig as he would obtain for a Grade A pig that was sent to the factory.

This is an advantage for the farmer and I do not want it taken away from him. To suggest that pig smuggling will be stopped by means of this legislation is utterly ridiculous and quite dishonest.

How does the Deputy think this would affect the trade in pork pigs that he has been speaking about?

This legislation means that a levy can be put on all pigs that are too fat. However, the pigs that are too fat are those that do not grade.

In the factories?

Yes. Let us suppose that 100 pigs were taken across the Border last night and that 80 were pigs that would grade for bacon pigs and 20 would not grade because they were too fat. The 80 pigs will be sent in the normal way to the factory and will grade as if they had been reared by any farmer in this part of the country. According to the Minister, the other 20 pigs will be subject to levy.

Presumably they would not be presented to the factory?

If the 20 pigs were presented to the factory they would get a lesser price than if they were sold for pork and, therefore, they would not be sent to the factory but would be presented to butchers and pig dealers.

They would not be levied then, because they were not presented to the factory.

Therefore, it is only at the lisensed factories that a levy will be applied to fat pigs?

It is not operable in any other way.

A levy will be applied at the factory on the basis that all the pigs were taken across the Border?

No, that is a different question. Anyway, we have disposed of that point.

The Minister states that the levy will be in relation to pigs received at bacon factories. Let us suppose that I rear ten pigs, eight that will grade and two that will not grade, and I send the pigs to the Dundalk bacon factory. The two fat pigs I have reared on my farm will not be subject to the levy?

They could be if they were within the grade specified.

The situation, therefore, is that I will be punished if I deliver the two fat pigs to the local bacon factory in that I will receive only Grade X prices instead of Grade A prices. Will I be further punished, notwithstanding the fact that I reared the two pigs on my farm, if regulations are made under this legislation?

According to the Deputy's version, the answer would be yes. I have said they could be subject to a levy.

Let us take the example of Cork, to which area it is most unlikely any smuggled pigs will be sent. If Deputy Creed or perhaps Deputy Crowley from the Minister's party—although I find it difficult to visualise Deputy Crowley engaged in pig-rearing—deliver pigs reared on their farm but which did not make the grade to their local bacon factory, will they be penalised on the basis that the pigs might have been smuggled across the Border? I need hardly add that everybody knows that the possibility of smuggled pigs being sent to Cork is highly unlikely, particularly in view of the fact that there are many bacon factories from Cavan to Dublin to which smuggled pigs could be sent. We have the Minister's admission that if one of the Cork Deputies, for instance, rears ten pigs, two of which did not grade, if the pigs are offered to the local factory according to this regulation they could be subject to a further levy.

The basis of pig grading at the moment is absolutely penal; a price is offered for the Grade A special pig in excess of the economic price and a lesser price is paid for the Grade X than the economic price. Therefore, the farmer who has several pigs that do not grade is very severely penalised in the name of trying to stop pig smuggling. This is not the way in which to stop the smuggling. I understand it is necessary that the pigs be caught when they are actually crossing the Border and that it is not enough merely to see the pigs in lorries some miles away from the Border. It is necessary that the law be changed in another way to cope with this problem, but it should not be done on the basis that the unfortunate farmer will be penalised. We should deal with each problem as it arises. However, the method proposed by the Minister would affect farmers' income. It is wrong and it will not have any effect in three-quarters of the country.

If smuggled pigs are to be used in the bacon factories, unless an exceptionally high price is offered in Waterford, Cork and Limerick factories, it is highly unlikely that the smuggled pigs will be sent to the south. Therefore, the traditional pig-feeding areas in the Republic, apart from Monaghan and Cavan, will be penalised. The other areas will also suffer and the farmers there are most indignant about pig smuggling. They have had vigilantes on the road in an effort to stop the smuggling and have passed resolutions about it at National Farmers Association meetings and at meetings of committees of agriculture. The method to be employed is hardly one of taking out the cane to the unfortunate farmer who may not succeed in having all his pigs in the Grade A category. We have had the Minister's admission that, if a farmer rears pigs and a percentage of them are not in the higher grade category, under the regulations now proposed the farmer could suffer a further penal levy. I do not believe that this legislation should be passed.

In his contribution Deputy Donegan referred to a farmer who might have, say, two out of ten pigs not eligible for the higher grade category. I am more worried about a farmer who might have only a small number of pigs but who is unfortunate enough to have them graded as fat pigs. The Minister should remember that generally farmers are not the people who actually smuggle the pigs. The people who are engaged in smuggling pigs are involved in smuggling many other items across the Border. It is an industry with them and if you speak to them about it they will tell you so. The second point is that farmers do not like to fill up forms; therefore, surely it would be much better if some system of registration was introduced. A farmer could register the number of pigs he had in a litter, the number of pigs he had bought and the number he had sold to the factory. In this way it might be possible to catch the people who really do smuggle. This section is not an effort to catch a person who is smuggling; it is like the fisherman with the small mesh net who brings in everything in front of him. If they are within certain grades they will be caught and they will be penalised. It cannot be justified in any circumstances. I would ask the Minister to withdraw the section. The Minister, having had another look at it, may find that he can deal with the matter in a better way in the Seanad. I would ask him not to put in a section like this which cannot be justified under any heading.

As a Deputy representing a traditional pig-producing county and as a small pig producer, I agree with the comments made by my colleagues on this side of the House. If the Minister proposes to go ahead with these amendments and enforce them he will kill pig production in the Border counties. I should like the Minister to inform the House to which factories he intends to apply this levy. There are two factories in the county which I have the pleasure to represent and I feel reasonably confident in saying that very few smuggled pigs enter either of those factories, despite the fact that they are within yards of the Border. A considerable number of smuggled pigs enter factories miles and miles from the Border. I am sure the Minister knows the factories to which I refer.

If this section becomes law it is only reasonable to assume that the people who will be most affected by it are the pig producers in the Border counties. Deputy Donegan has given an example of pigs that will not grade and the position with regard to similar pigs in Cork. The Minister should remember that the Border counties are probably the poorer counties of the State. Pig production plays an important role in the income of many small farmers in counties like Monaghan and Cavan. If the commission are allowed to pick individual pigs it will not be very long before the producers stop producing pigs. Despite the fact that a few people who are not farmers have started up large piggeries the pig population in Monaghan has declined. Many of the traditional producers have found it an uneconomic proposition. If this section is allowed to operate they will be forced, through no fault of their own, to cease pig production.

Why does the Deputy say that?

It is only reasonable to assume that, if this section is allowed to operate, it will operate to a greater extent against pig producers in Border counties than it will in the south of Ireland. If a farmer puts in a batch of pigs half of which grade and half of which do not grade, will it be assumed that the half which do not grade came from Northern Ireland? A constituent of mine has a piggery right on the Border. He is not involved in smuggling, but if he puts 50 pigs into the factory, 40 of them grade and ten do not, will it be assumed that he smuggled those ten pigs?

There is no question of assuming that certain pigs are smuggled; the section will not be applied in that way.

If they are fat or thin they are smuggled.

The levy would be applied in relation to the grade and weight of all pigs, subject to what I said earlier about there being certain circumstances in which, as the section specifies, there can be exemptions; but subject to that it would be applied to all pigs within the specific grades.

How will it be determined that the man did not smuggle the pigs?

It is not proposed to operate on the basis of proving whether they were smuggled. One cannot prove this.

(Cavan): It is going to be presumed that all pigs are smuggled.

If it cannot be proved, how is it proposed to operate the section?

If there is a levy specified to operate in relation to pigs within a particular grade and weight, it will apply to them irrespective of whether or not they are smuggled.

Will that operate in the south of Ireland just the same as in the north?

This section is not designed solely to catch smuggled pigs? It is also designed to catch pigs that fall within the category even though they are produced in the State?

(Cavan): It is operating in a King Herod sort of way.

It is going to militate against producers in the Republic, there is no doubt about that.

Am I right in assuming that any pigs falling within that category, whether they are produced in Monaghan, Armagh or Cork, will be liable to this levy?

Yes, subject to what I have said about the possibility of exemption. The method of exemption will have to be specified in the order.

By whom will that method of exemption be specified?

In the order made by the Minister. It would relate primarily to pigs supplied on contract, where a specified number of pigs is to be supplied, and there would be no advantage in smuggling to add to them.

Am I right in assuming that the man in Monaghan who puts in his 50 pigs, 45 of which grade and five fall within the specified weight and grade, will be exempt from this levy?

It will apply to him.

The Minister has said that he only means pigs supplied on a contract. Am I right in saying that that man whose five pigs fall within the category will be exempt?

If he has five pigs falling within the category to which the levy would apply he would be exempt if the order contains provision for exemption and he comes within that provision for exemption.

We do not know what the Minister is going to put in the order.

You are trying to sell a pig in a poke.

Can the Minister assure us that when that pig producer puts his 50 pigs into the factory he will not be affected one way or another by this section? Will he not be liable to be affected?

If any of the pigs which he produces to the factory come within the specified grade and weight which are subject to a levy then they will be subject to such a levy, unless they fall within the exemptions specified in the order.

That is the same thing over again. These pigs will be liable to this levy whether produced in the north or in the south of Ireland. The Minister is out to get the pig producer, irrespective of whether he is in the south or the north of Ireland.

That is one way of putting it.

If it is going to affect the pig producer in Monaghan I do not care how it is put—it will just affect him anyway.

It is affecting the pig producer in Monaghan and in Cork also. The vast majority of pig producers are being adversely affected by this. Let us not get it out of perspective.

The pig producer in Monaghan does not cause the pig smuggling, so why is he subject to the levy?

He will benefit if we stop the smuggling. He loses by the smuggling.

What is he going to gain?

It is the price incentive which makes him smuggle.

There are a half a dozen people from the south of Ireland engaged in this practice. If the pig producer in Monaghan is compelled to pay for what these half dozen people are doing, it is no fault of his that they are doing it. The pig producers in Monaghan and Louth put vigilantes on the Border. They were able to prove where these pigs were going, as were the Customs people. I do not believe it is fair that the pig producer in Monaghan, Cavan, Louth or Donegal, if he has five pigs falling within that category or weight or measurement, should be penalised because Mr. X is smuggling pigs to a bacon factory 50 miles from where he lives or from where his pigs are being slaughtered.

I should like if the Minister would further enlighten us on how he proposes to select these five pigs which fall within this weight and measurement category. There never was a weight range yet with a line under a certain measurement but a pig producer would have a number of pigs falling within that weight and measurement, through no fault of his own. It is very unfair that, because somebody else is smuggling pigs, this man who has pigs of that weight and measurement should be penalised. It is another way of forcing him out of pig production. I do not propose to say much more. I am convinced at this stage that this is a deliberate attempt to catch out not alone smuggled pigs but to compel the traditional producers, of the Border counties especially, who happen to have a long tradition in pig production, to go out of business. It is a deliberate attempt to force them out of a livelihood which provided them with many a pound in years past.

I do not propose to talk about pigs so much as about the fact that an attempt is being made to put this kind of a section into the miscellaneous part of a Finance Bill. I went to the Library and got last year's Finance Act to see whether there was any precedent for getting this kind of revenue into the Exchequer. So far as I can see from an examination of the details of miscellaneous revenue last year there is no such precedent. That does not say it should not happen. I remember various attempts being made to get the oddest of items into the miscellaneous part of the Finance Bill. This is certainly the most peculiar piece of animal life I have ever seen in the miscellaneous part of a Finance Bill.

The Deputy will agree that the smuggling is the concern of the Revenue Commissioners?

This thought was in my mind last night According to a side note, which I wrote, the Minister told us that this was to deal with the illegal importation of fat pigs.

Omit the word "fat" and I would agree with that.

That is the way I took it down from the Minister. I think that is the way it was said originally.

It was to deal with the illegal importation of pigs.

Normally when boards of this sort make levies, such as the Racing Board or Bord na gCon, they collect the money and they do not pay it over to the Exchequer. So far as I can make out from account No. 13, which is the appropriate finance account for 1968-69, there is no precedent of any sort for the collection to be paid through the Pigs and Bacon Commission to the Exchequer. There is no precedent of any sort for this kind of thing. That does not prove it it wrong. I am extremely doubtful about it. Provision is made in subsection (4) for all the moneys received by the commission to be paid into a fund to the benefit of the Exchequer in accordance with the directions of the Minister for Finance—the time honoured phrase. Without that phrase it would not fit. Not even the most careless Dáil would let it pass without that phrase. The Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Finance would object also. They would say that they could not go that far, if that phrase had been left out, and the Pigs and Bacon Commission had been allowed to keep the money. This suggests beyond question that this is a peculiar section to put into a Finance Bill. Apart from any semblance of logic, provisions about levying pigs at the Border and in bacon factories are scarcely provisions connected with finance. We have been told they are not provisions connected with finance but connected with the prevention of smuggling of pigs.

That is right.

I doubt if the section is properly in the Bill.

(Cavan): Is there any precedent for this method of dealing with smuggling? Is there any precedent in the Customs code to justify this section? We are told by the Minister that the object of this section is to deal with the illegal importation of pigs. In order to do that we are imposing a blanket tax—I will not call it a levy—but a Customs tax on all pigs of a certain type, whether they are legally imported or lawfully produced in the country. I say that is an extraordinary proposal. Is there any precedent for it? Jewellery is illegally imported into this country from time to time—perhaps very valuable jewellery. Did anybody ever think of imposing some sort of higher rate of turnover tax on all jewellery in the country in order to deal with the comparatively small amount of jewellery smuggled into the country? Clothes are imported illegally from time to time. Did anybody ever suggest that all clothes should be taxed in order to get at clothes that are illegally imported? The same argument could be related to butter, to motorcar parts and to a variety of other things that are imported. Why select the farmer, the agricultural producer, for this extraordinary experiment?

I shall be interested to know whether the Minister can cite a case where a similar proposal was adopted to deal with the smuggling of specific articles. In other words, can he quote any instance where Irish-produced articles were taxed through this House in order to prevent the importation of foreign articles?

If I can, will the Deputy accept the section?

Then, let us not waste time.

Do not tell me the Minister considers the section to be all right. Up to now I was under the impression that he was almost ashamed of it.

The more I listen to the speeches, the more convinced I am that this section is absolutely essential and is in the best interest of the Irish farmer.

Would the Minister know what would be in the best interest of the Irish farmer?

(Cavan): I do not know whether the Minister is speaking in the capacity of the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries or the capacity of the Minister for Finance. However, this provision appears to me to be an innovation. If it is not an innovation it is certainly the exception and I do not think it should be applied in this way.

Reference has been made by Deputy O'Donovan to the extraordinary way in which this has been brought in. He said that it must be without precedent to endeavour to get money in this way through the Finance Bill. Reference has also been made to the fact that none of the Fianna Fáil Deputies from the pig-producing areas of the country is here to object to this. Perhaps this is excusable because nobody would have expected that a blanket levy would be put on pigs through the Finance Bill. If the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries was proposing such a levy, all these rural Deputies would be here to fight against it because if they did not do so, they could not face home.

Deputy Flor Crowley would be here anyway.

These Deputies are not here today. Something which concerns me is that the Taoiseach is to go on holidays to his quiet home in West Cork. This is an area where there are many pig producers. He will need to be well guarded if this legislation goes through because these people will have a lot to say about this extra levy.

The Minister has brought in this section without having had adequate advice on it. I think it was Deputy Fitzpatrick who asked if there has been any consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.

I still have not had an opportunity to answer that.

The Minister is free to answer at any time. He has been very slow to answer many of the questions put to him so far. Was there any consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries? I do not believe that he could have agreed to this. If he did we shall have something to say to him later. Was there any consultation with the Pigs and Bacon Commission as such or were there merely discussions with an official of the commission? Did they agree? Did they consider this to be good for the pig industry? Was there any discussion with farming organisations or was their advice sought as to whether they considered this to be good for them? In his opening speech, the Minister said that the farmers would appreciate the value of this. How does he know that? As I have already said, this section was introduced in a surreptitious manner. Also in his opening speech on the section, the Minister did not refer to any pigs other than smuggled pigs but he now admits freely that this covers all pigs of a certain grade or category. Therefore, as time goes on, the meaning of this section is being revealed.

We are all disappointed with this. More than once, Deputy Tully appealed to the Minister to consider seriously withdrawing the section because it is not the way to deal with smuggling and because it is the consumers and the pig producers who are being asked for the money that the Minister is hoping to collect. I appeal to the Minister again to have regard to the fact that a large number of pigs in this country are produced on swill. This is food that would otherwise be wasted. Also, when the potatoes are being taken out—this probably covers a period of about two months—pigs are fed exclusively on the small, or what would otherwise be waste, potatoes. Such feeding produces less than top quality pigs but we must remember that such pigs are the only ones retained for home consumption. The Grade A and Grade A Specials are exported. If this section goes through, the price of bacon will be increased. I know many people who still eat fat bacon. The point will never be reached, and it would be bad if we were to attempt to reach it, where all pigs described as "fat" would be eliminated.

As a result of this, I cannot see how there will not be overlapping of the grading system operated by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. It was difficult enough to get acceptance of this system by the farmers. There was extraordinary suspicion in relation to its operation. Perhaps in the early days the suspicion was well-founded. Producers were sending pigs for grading which they thought should be graded as A but which were graded as B or C, and so on. Grading is now very carefully carried out and farmers are invited to go along to see grading in operation. There is nothing in this legislation to indicate standards or measures by which pigs would be graded. If it is left entirely to the discretion of the Pigs and Bacon Commission it is possible that a certain man's pigs might be turned down because somebody did not like him. Therefore, there has not been and could not have been sufficient discussion between the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, members of the Pigs and Bacon Commission, the farming organisations and the Minister for Finance before the introduction of this piece of legislation which we all know will have an adverse effect on pig production and will mean an increase in the price of bacon to the consumer.

The only reason why the Minister brought this in was to collect revenue. He agrees with me that 200,000 pigs can be caught in this net. He would not have introduced this if he did not intend collecting a substantial amount of money as a result. He is not doing it for a frivolous sum. From whom is the money to be collected? Certainly not from the people who smuggle pigs across the Border and the sooner the Minister realises this the better. We were scoffed at when we said it was possible that at peaktime some 2,000 pigs a week cross the Border but 200,000 pigs are covered by this. It is the pig producers and the consumers who will have to pay the bill.

Whatever Deputy Clinton may say about the amount of money that would be collected here, I repeat what I said before, that the collection of money is not the object of this section but, rather, it is the prevention of smuggling that is the object.

What is the reason for preventing smuggling if it is not to save the Exchequer money?

I have said on a number of occasions that smuggled pigs cost, between the Exchequer and the producer by way of the levy he pays, of the order of £4 to £5 per pig. I also want to say that if Deputy Clinton's statement that there is no standard laid down, that any grading can be applied and therefore pigs can be levied simply because somebody does not like the look of them or does not like the look of the owner, is justifiable, then the same objections apply according to him to the existing grading system. I am not coming in here on the Finance Bill to attempt to justify the existing grading system on pigs. It has nothing to do with it.

The grades are specified but they are not specified in this amendment.

I have told the House before that, in order to reduce the inconvenience to a minimum, it is intended to operate on the existing grades, so far as this is possible.

Why was it necessary to insert this section? The grades could be altered without coming in here with this. That is why I think the Minister is not too happy about the section.

I do not know what the Deputy means.

If it is to be operated on existing grades why put a special section in the Finance Bill for the purpose of having all this argument here?

The Deputy has missed the whole point of what I am talking about.

I have not missed the whole point.

The Deputy, as I understand it, says that because there are existing grades you do not need this section. How can you have a levy? You have a levy which is fixed in relation to all pigs and at a flat rate. I think I have been talking to the wall in explaining what this is all about.

It is a pity the Minister does not know what he is talking about. It would be helpful if he did.

Deputy Tully got up twice and said he could not agree with the principle behind this. It is now clear he does not know what it is all about, even though I explained it at some length. He does not see the difference between a variable levy and a fixed levy which applies under the Pigs and Bacon Commission.

You can alter the fixed levy. You do not have to bring it in in the Finance Bill to alter the fixed levy. If you are going to operate on the existing levy why spend time on it on this Bill?

Different rates cannot be operated under the existing levy. I have made that clear.

The Minister does not know what he is talking about.

The Deputy might pay a little more attention or else not get up and say he disagrees with this in principle if he does not know what it is all about.

The more the Minister talks the more I disagree with it.

I will not waste the time of the House unduly on this. There are some points raised which I will endeavour to deal with but if Deputies do not want to listen or pay attention to what I am saying that is their business. That is their privilege.

The Minister is not a school teacher. We are not in his class.

No, but Deputies need not try to get up on my back.

On a point of order, perhaps we could get more of the Minister's party to listen to him.

Let us see Deputy Flor Crowley in the House now for a change. Let him get up on the Minister's back.

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

I have been asked to tell the House the estimated number of pigs smuggled. I cannot give such information and it is quite unreasonable to state that I should. The information I gave was that every pig smuggled costs, between the taxpayer and the producer, a sum of about £5. It is known that the question of smuggling of pigs was of considerable concern to farmers and to pig producers in general. This concern has been clearly demonstrated time after time. The cost of subsidies on all pigs, as far as the taxpayer is concerned, in the current year, is £3.4 million and, in addition, £1 million is contributed by the producers' levy. The very light and very heavy pigs which constitute about 10 per cent of all pigs would, as Deputy Clinton said, amount to 200,000 pigs. A large proportion of those could be smuggled although we do not know how many are. It is in this area smuggling takes place because of the price differential. This is where the incentive to smuggling occurs and this is why the operation of this section, in relation to those particular gradings, will be related to the areas in which there was a price differential acting as an incentive to smuggling. It will not be operated on the basis of what was considered desirable or undesirable by way of grading but solely by way of reference to the existence of incentives to smuggling by way of price differential.

Deputy Fitzpatrick referred to a statement in theFarmers' Journal of 4th July, 1970. He did not, in fact, add that that article indicated that the smuggling of heavy pigs was still continuing on a significant scale. I must confess I find it a bit mystifying listening to Opposition speakers on this because some of them would give you the impression there is virtually no smuggling and others would give you the impression that smuggling is on a very big scale and that we ought to have done something about it before this.

I suspect the position is that they feel smuggling was going on, that it is still going on, but at a lower rate. That may be so, but there is nothing to ensure it will not be speeded up again. Neither, indeed, at the present time can we view the position with equanimity. As I said, the reference to theFarmers' Journal was to the smuggling of heavy pigs still going on and this section is designed to try to do away with the financial incentive to pig smuggling. If the incentive arises in relation to one grade rather than another, it is possible to vary the levy in respect of that grade. If smuggling were to cease this could be taken away and, if it were to start up again, then it could be put on again. That is the object of the section.

I referred to possible exemption. This is provided for in the section. The basis of exemption would have to be specified in the order. In general, it would relate, as I said in an interjection, to the supply of pigs on a contract basis or, possibly, the supply of pigs from a pig-fattening station—in other words, where it could be clearly demonstrated that the pigs were home-produced.

In other words, where the big pig producer would be OK and the small fellow would not.

I will deal with that point in a moment. The question was raised as to whether or not there had been consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. This was put in a context which suggested that this section was brought in as a revenue raising operation and without regard to anything else. I want to tell the House now that there was consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, which agreed to this proposal——

The Minister for Agriculture agreed?

I said there was consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries—that is, between the Department of Finance and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

With the officials?

Would the Minister be prepared to say when that consultation took place?

With civil servants, not the Minister.

Was it before the Budget or was it within the last month or so?

I do not know what happened before the Budget, but I know there was consultation after the Budget. We had numerous complaints about pig smuggling, about the damage it was doing to the pig producer, about the cost to the pig producer and to the Exchequer. We had complaints from Deputies who spoke on this section. We had no practical suggestion as to how this problem might be dealt with. When I say that I am not trying to be derogatory. Any suggestions we did hear turned out to be impractical. If we let this go on, we subject the pig producers to the losses involved in the levy as far as they are concerned; we subject the taxpayers to these losses also unless we take some steps to deal with the problem. This is an effort to deal with the problem. It is true that, in the case of some producers who produce pigs that would come within the terms of the levy—in general, that would be pigs that were either over heavy or over light—they would be penalised because they would not be within the exemption terms as well. That is true, but I want to put it to the House that what is involved here is not merely the question of ensuring that no pig producer of over-fat or over-light pigs is in any way inconvenienced and, by ensuring that, let this whole thing go on and let all pig producers and the taxpayers suffer. I suggest that the number of pigs involved is about 10 per cent and, of this 10 per cent, a very big percentage must be smuggled pigs so that what is left are the producers we are concerned about because this will impose a hardship on them if they are not exempt. I accept that this is so. I would much prefer not to subject them to this levy but I have no other method open to me of doing this and, as the same time, doing something practical to try to reduce pig smuggling. If we do not deal with this problem every pig producer in the country will lose more and the taxpayer will lose more.

I want Deputies to view this situation in perspective. It is no use telling me that this will seriously affect all pig producers. It will not. Quite obviously it will not. We are talking about a relatively small number of pigs. We would rather it did not do any damage, but the price of not doing that damage is to damage every pig producer and every taxpayer in the country; unless someone can produce a better and more effective system of doing it, that is the price involved. These are the two things that have to be balanced.

Would the Minister not consider licensing pig production as an alternative?

That is outside my jurisdiction, but the Deputy can be assured—I am not saying this with knowledge, merely on general principles—that that must have been considered in the past by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Straight away, without knowing the details, I can see a great many snags, but it must have been considered.

I can see snags, too, but it is one way of doing it without penalising people who are already being penalised.

I can only tell the Deputy and the House that I have been advised that various possible methods of dealing with this problem have been examined and have been found to be unworkable or ineffective. This particular method outlined in this section is the best that we can do. There has been consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in relation to it and they have agreed with it.

But the Minister will not say if the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries agrees with this.

The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries is responsible for the activities of his Department in the same way as I am responsible for the activities of mine.

Then he agrees to the levy being imposed?

He is responsible for his Department and his Department has agreed to it.

Is he aware of this?

I do not know whether he is or not.

If it is true that only a very few will be affected and if, in fact, we are exporting Grade A, then very lean and very fat would not be exported and does the Minister not feel that, by making this argument, he is making an argument against the section?

I do not follow that.

The Minister is quite wrong when he says only some pig producers will be affected. Every pig producer will be affected because no pig producer produces 100 per cent Grade A pigs. Every producer has some degree of failure and, therefore, every pig producer will be affected. In what other way could this be done? The NFA as far back as 12 months ago suggested there should be a licence to move pigs near the Border, pigs within five, ten, 15 or 20 miles of the Border, and any person found moving pigs in that area without such a licence would be deemed to have imported the pigs illegally. I can see no legislative reason why that suggestion could not be put into effect. This could be done without affecting every pig producer in the country.

What has happened here is that the Minister, on the advice of his officials —and officials in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries have apparently agreed and the Minister responsible for that Department—has set up a situation whereby they will defend taxation, they will defend revenue, they will defend the payments made from the Department of Finance to Agriculture——

And the producers' levy.

No. You will defend that but, at the same time, you will impose a penal tax on the percentage of non-grading pigs produced by every producer in this country. I want to know why.

Is that not very selective? Is the producer not paying the levy?

You are taking the extra levy from the producers. It is quite clear from this amendment that you are not putting it into the Pigs and Bacon Commission but that you are taking it into your——

To the extent that it is effective, will it not help the producers' levy?

Deputy O'Donovan made it quite clear. I agree entirely with what he said that you will take the money from this levy and take it into your maw in the Department of Finance, into the Exchequer. You have not said you will give it back to the Pigs and Bacon Commission or to the pig producers.

No. Do I have to say it ten times?

You are defending your own moneys in the Department of Finance and nothing else.

That is a very selective statement which is not true.

You do not like to hear this. I do not want to repeat what I have said. Deputy O'Donovan was quite correct. The Minister has not denied it. I invite him to deny it now.

It is in the section.

Then that means you are not giving this money back to the pig producers.

You are taking it into revenue.

Therefore your statement that you are protecting the pig producers is quite incorrect.

Wrong. Does the Deputy want me to explain it?

If a pig producer in this country sends eight grading pigs and two non-grading pigs to the factory, the two non-grading pigs are subjected when the regulations are made to a second levy under this section. The money from that levy will go into the maw of the Minister for Finance and will not go back to the Pigs and Bacon Commission. Therefore, the position is that he will have received exactly the same as he would have received before this legislation for eight pigs and considerably less for the two non-grading pigs. Deny that, if you wish.

I deny it.

Substantiate it, then.

I deny it because it is only half the truth. The whole truth is that, to the extent that the operation of his levy reduces smuggling, the drawing on the levy paid by the pig producer to pay for smuggled pigs is reduced. Therefore, the producer is gaining.

The Minister is suggesting that something affecting a fraction of 10 per cent will help these producers whereas, in fact, the penal levy the Minister is taking on that 10 per cent is being put into his own financial purse. The Minister asked for another way to do it. Surely the Department of Finance and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries have considered the recommendation of the NFA. I, as a farmer, have on many occasions—during foot and mouth disease epidemics and in periods of danger of foot and mouth disease, for example—been precluded from moving cattle, pigs or any cloven-footed animal, except under licence, from my farm to any other farm. Why can that not be done in areas beside the border? That suggestion was made 12 months ago by the NFA. Here is another suggestion. Could there not be legislation—as there has been in the course of the 16 years I have been a Member of this House—whereby a person without a licence could be deemed to have illegally imported those pigs so that there would be no levy?

The Minister asked if this was a conventional filibuster. It is not. This is an expression of quite genuine concern.

The only conventional filibuster I saw in this House was when Deputy MacEntee was Minister. He was the leader of it. It was during the debate on the Greyhound Bill.

There were a few more recent than that.

We are all as anxious as the Minister is to get away on our holidays as this has been a very heavy session. However, we are genuinely concerned that this is a measure that will not help anybody and that will adversely affect a certain number of people in this country. I have said again and again that the consumer of bacon in this country will also be affected by higher prices. The Minister has been challenged to tell the House why the same thing could not be done by operating the grading system which is in existence at the moment. He has gone to some considerable lengths to explain that. He has partly explained it by saying that it would be his intention that pigs supplied on contract from, say, large fattening stations would be exempt from this levy. In doing it in this way, he is being selective. He is ensuring that the bigger man in the industry will not be affected but that the small man all over the place will be caught. I do not think the Minister wants this but this is the effect of the proposed levy.

The Minister challenged Deputy Fitzpatrick in relation to the report in theFarmers' Journal and asserted that Deputy Fitzpatrick was either underquoting or not fully quoting and that the report indicated that smuggling was on the increase. The report does not indicate anything of the sort. In order to put it on the record, let me read this extract from the report:

Reports, too, from Northern Ireland indicate a very substantial drop in smuggled pigs from there. Clearly, this is affecting the number of pigs being offered to southern factories.

The earlier reference was to a drop in the number of pigs arriving at the factories. The report continues:

The big reason for this, of course, is the increase in pig prices in Northern Ireland. Top price for a "Special" up there is now 322s a cwt. This is higher than ours. In fact, the only pig that it now pays to smuggle is the too-heavy pig. These, it would appear, are still coming across.

There is nothing in that to indicate an increase in smuggled pigs.

I did not say there was.

The Minister said there was either an under-quote or a misquote that would indicate that this smuggling was not taking place.

I said that the smuggling of heavy pigs was still going on on a significant scale.

This report says there was a substantial drop. I want to confirm that there is a substantial drop. It is due to a number of things. There was an increased effort here to stop smuggling. There was an increase for pigs of a certain grade in Northern Ireland which attracted producers there to keep them at home. We still have a limited amount of smuggling. The Minister's measures certainly are not such that any sensible person or anybody with any contact with pig production in this country would introduce to stop an undesirable traffic. I asked the Minister about this earlier but he did not reply. Subsection (2) of this section provides:

The Minister for Finance, after consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries may, by order, do any one or more of the following—

What if the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries disagrees? May the Minister for Finance still go ahead? It does not say whether the agreement of the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries is necessary.

That is the usual phrase.

This has a serious effect on agriculture also whether or not the Minister says it. He refuses to commit the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. He simply says that there will be consultations with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. That is not committing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries to this levy. I do not believe any Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries could stand over this levy. The only person who could attempt to stand over it is the Minister for Finance who wants a sum of money regardless of where he gets it or of the inability of the people to pay it.

(Cavan): I asked the Minister if there is any precedent for this. I understood that he had plenty of ammunition which he was going to shoot at me, but he did not do so.

I did not say there was any ammunition.

(Cavan): Then the Minister was trying to put me off.

The Minister has partly answered me now. I was about to raise that point. The Minister shoots off remarks and says that the phrase which Deputy Clinton was talking about, "after consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries" is the usual phrase. That is not so. This is an agricultural matter and the usual phrase would be, "with the consent of the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries". The Minister shoots off remarks, but that is not the usual phrase in a matter of this sort. I well remember an example when we had a disagreement in the Department of Finance about something they could do after consultation with the Minister for Finance and eventually after an exchange of letters we said: "Look boys, you have consulted us. We disagree with you. Go ahead." That is an example.

That is not the way it works.

It did work that way.

It should not have worked that way.

I am telling the Minister that is the way it worked.

It should not have worked that way.

We had to say to them eventually: "Look boys, you have consulted us and you are going to go ahead. Go ahead". That is what happened. The fact is that under this the Department of Finance would be quite entitled to disagree with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and put on the levy with which the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries did not agree. Let us say what words mean. I am not interested in what the Minister said about how things work. I know as much, and more, than the Minister about how things work between the Department of Finance and other Departments. I spent 20 years there and what is more I was doing ground level work.

The Deputy should not be so humble.

I have made my point.

I want to make a small point in regard to what Deputy O'Donovan said. He may have had a lot of experience in the Department of Finance, as he said at ground level, but his experience of Government was in relation to a Coalition Government. I do not know how that worked but I want to tell the Deputy——

(Cavan): The Minister should know because they are operating one over there at the moment.

—— how it works in the case of a Fianna Fáil Government. The meaning of that phrase "as it works" is that there is consultation between whichever two Ministers are concerned and, if they agree, that is all right. If they do not agree, they bring it to the Government where the matter is decided. That is how it works in a Fianna Fáil Government.

The Minister said a moment ago that there was no consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries but that there was consultation with the Department.

I will not waste my time with that one.

(Cavan): I want now to put on the records of this House that we are establishing a precedent here in the customs code of this country. We are doing something for which there is no precedent. In order to prevent smuggling, we are deliberately imposing a tax on innocent people. We are deliberately imposing a tax on home-produced goods in order to try to prevent an insignificant number of pigs from being smuggled into this country. I say that is fundamentally wrong. It is unsound. It is a dangerous precedent.

Why has it not been tried out on people who smuggle jewellery, expensive clothing and other expensive luxury items of that nature, which could be classified as easily as underweight or heavy weight pigs can be classified. Why has this nasty experiment to be tried out on the farmers of this country and, according to the Minister, on only a section of the farmers of this country?

The west Cork farmers in particular.

(Cavan): The people who are engaged in pig fattening in large numbers will be exempt and only the miscellaneous farmers who are rearing 20, 30, 40 or 50 pigs will be subject to this. I say that is unfair. There is no justification whatever for it. It cannot stand up to, or be justified by, any test, and it should be withdrawn.

Would the Minister be kind enough to say whether he believes the alternative which I suggested is practical? I am fully aware that the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries can make regulations without any trouble whatever whereby it is illegal to move pigs near the Border except under licence. I know this because of my experience as a farmer in times of disease when such orders were made within hours. I now want to know if the Minister agrees with me that there is no reason why legislation should not pass through this House setting out that a person who moves pigs without such a licence could be deemed to be importing them illegally. I want to know if such a two-pronged device would not be far preferable to the dreadful device suggested by the Minister.

I told the House earlier that various possible systems had been examined and had been found to be either unworkable or ineffective. This was one of them and it was found that a licensing system would cause great inconvenience to pig producers in the Border areas and would require elaborate and costly policing and administrative arrangements. This section will produce a minimum of changes in the existing pattern and system.

It will in my left foot.

I agree with what Deputy Donegan suggests about a licence for the movement of pigs especially in the Border areas. Listening to the Minister I am inclined to think that he is not aware of the implications of this Bill which he has brought before the House. I believe he is not aware of the way pig smuggling operates and everything pertaining to it. He has stated what would be involved in a licence for the movement of pigs in the Border areas.

As a small pig producer from a Border area I can tell the Minister that there would be no great hardship on pig producers in Border areas if there were a licence. The people who are moving numbers of pigs in Border areas are not from Border areas. They come from miles away with large double-deck lorry loads of pigs. They can be seen clearly in broad day light. If somebody is heading south from the northern direction on an unapproved road and there is no pig-fattening unit between where the lorry is intercepted and the unapproved Border cross-point, we would only need our imagination to tell us where the load of pigs was coming from.

This levy is designed to hit the poorer section of the community. It will not interfere with the large co-operative piggery or the large pig fattening unit that supplies pigs on contract to a particular factory. The people this will interfere with most are the small family farm traditional producers who have ten or five or 15 pigs. They will pay the piper. I cannot help thinking that, as far as the Minister is concerned, it is a question of getting the money and, as somebody said: "Get it right and, if you cannot, get it anyhow."

I will not detain the House very long but I want to point out, since the Minister made a point about inter-Party Governments and other kinds of Governments, that the date stamped on the back of this Finance Bill is 7 of 70, that is, the month of July, 1970. Although the Budget was on 12th May, I think, we did not get the Bill for a long time and yet this section was not in the Bill. Therefore, the Minister need not pretend to me, if he is talking about a proper system of administration, that this matter was properly considered. Obviously, it was not. I was flabbergasted at the lapse of time between the Finance Bill and the Budget. Also, on the back of the Finance Bill is: "Ordered by Dáil Éireann to be printed, 20th May, 1970." Of course, it was not with us when it was ordered to be printed: we just ordered the Bill as introduced, that is the Long Title. We did not know what was in the Bill until we got it in the month of July. It is not right for the Minister to pretend that the section was properly considered. I know it was not because of that external evidence. I shall not delay the House any longer.

Amendment put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 62; Níl, 54.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Barrett, Sylvester.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick J.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Carty, Michael.
  • Childers, Erskine.
  • Colley, George.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Connolly, Gerard C.
  • Cowen, Bernard.
  • Cronin, Jerry.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • de Valera, Vivion.
  • Dowling, Joe.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Dublin Central).
  • Flanagan, Seán.
  • Foley, Desmond.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gallagher, James.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gibbons, Hugh.
  • Gibbons, James.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Healy, Augustine A.
  • Boland, Kevin.
  • Boylan, Terence.
  • Brady, Philip A.
  • Herbert, Michael.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Hussey, Thomas.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lalor, Patrick J.
  • Lemass, Noel T.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Loughnane, William A.
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • Lynch, John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • Meaney, Thomas.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Nolan, Thomas.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connor, Timothy.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Des.
  • Power, Patrick.
  • Sherwin, Seán.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Timmons, Eugene.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Wyse, Pearse.

Níl

  • Barry, Richard.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Belton, Luke.
  • Browne, Noël.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Burke, Joan.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Burke, Richard.
  • Burton, Philip.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Clinton, Mark A.
  • Cluskey, Frank.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Conlan, John F.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Cruise-O'Brien, Conor.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Dockrell, Maurice E.
  • Donegan, Patrick S.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dunne, Thomas.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
  • Finn, Martin.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Cavan).
  • Fox, Billy.
  • Governey, Desmond.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hogan, Patrick.
  • Hogan O'Higgins, Brigid.
  • Jones, Denis F.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Keating, Justin.
  • Kenny, Henry.
  • L'Estrange, Gerald.
  • Lynch, Gerard.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • O'Connell, John F.
  • O'Donnell, Patrick.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Donovan, John.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Reilly, Paddy.
  • O'Sullivan, John L.
  • Ryan, Richie.
  • Taylor, Francis.
  • Thornley, David.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Tully, James.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Andrews and Meaney; Níl, Deputies R. Burke and Cluskey.
Amendment declared carried.
SECTION 54.
Question proposed: "That section 54 stand part of the Bill."

Would the Minister explain the section?

This section secures that, where double taxation relief arrangements to which this country is a party so provide, tax spared under foreign law is to be treated as having been payable. This treatment of foreign tax spared is provided for in such arrangements only on a reciprocal basis, that is, where the partner country is prepared to accord similar treatment to the tax spared under this country's tax incentives schemes. Where our tax relief schemes are recognised in other countries in a double taxation agreement and they have a similar type of scheme, we are prepared to recognise theirs.

Has this not always been so?

No, it has not. It arises out of the conclusion of double taxation agreements, which goes on periodically, and then it only arises in the case of countries with which we have double taxation agreements and which also have this kind of tax incentive scheme.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 55.
Question proposed: "That section 55 stand part of the Bill."

Would the Minister say a word about this section?

This section is extending to profits derived from exempted trading operations in Shannon Airport the benefits already provided by section 35 of the Finance Act of 1968 in respect of double taxation relief, where a company has invested in a foreign subsidiary profits which had been relieved from tax under the exports relief provision and where the dividends or interest arising from such investment suffer foreign tax. The section is only effective where the investment is made in a country with which a double taxation agreement is not in force. As I say, this was provided under section 35 of the Finance Act, 1968, but it did not apply to Shannon Airport. The effect of this section 55 is to extend this benefit to Shannon Airport.

This already applies to industry outside Shannon Airport?

Yes, under section 35 of the 1968 Act.

In relation to double taxation agreements, is it not the case that there are only some of these agreements that provide a matching credit system, as I think it is called, under which credit is given for the tax that is actually paid here? Germany is one. What are the countries in respect of which this applies? Furthermore, when the Minister says this section applies only where the State has not concluded a double taxation agreement, will it not apply where there is a double taxation agreement which does not cover this particular matter?

We have recently concluded agreements with countries which have the same kind of incentives as we have—Cyprus, Pakistan and Zambia. We have agreements for the avoidance of double taxation in respect of taxes on income arising from sea and air transport in force with Belgium, Finland, Norway and South Africa. We have comprehensive conventions in force with Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

France is notably absent.

We are awaiting ratification of comprehensive conventions with Cyprus, Finland, France and Norway. We are awaiting signature and the laying before the Dáil of draft orders with Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and Zambia. I have mentioned Pakistan already. The only two countries of these with which we have not got some form of tax sparing provisions are the United States and the United Kingdom.

In those cases does this section apply?

It does not apply?

We are at a disadvantage then in relation to the United States and the United Kingdom.

The explanatory memorandum says that it does apply, that it will apply to investment in countries with which this country has not concluded a double taxation agreement. I am confused at this stage, frankly.

I think really our discussion up to now is relative to section 54.

This section merely extends to the Shannon Free Airport the arrangements previously in existence for the rest of the country— is that right?

Yes—section 55 does this.

Is it the position therefore that there are three categories of states: there are those with whom we have comprehensive double taxation agreements, other than the UK and the USA, which have this tax sparing provision and where this section is not necessary; there are those with whom we have no double taxation agreement and where it is necessary and where it applies? Are there then two cases, the United States and the UK, with whom we have a double taxation agreement but which does not give tax sparing and to which this section does not apply?

Yes, where it is not effective.

Therefore there are two countries with which there is no arrangement operating and they are the two most important countries.

With these countries we have double taxation arrangements and section 55 does not therefore apply in their case.

Neither of the two system operates, the double tax sparing system nor this alternative system?

That is correct, but we still have double taxation arrangements with them.

What is being done about this? Is that not the most important, which we should be tackling?

The Deputy will appreciate that tax sparing is a matter of reciprocal agreement between the governments concerned and the agreements which have been concluded with them are the best that could be arrived at between the respective governments.

On the basis of bargaining.

I am sorry but I am really puzzled here. The section with which we are dealing is one under which we give a concession ourselves, under section 35 of the previous Act and section 55 of this Bill, where there is not a double taxation agreement and where because of the absence of a double taxation agreement with a tax sparing clause it is necessary for us to make some provision which will enable companies not to be at a disadvantage because of this. Surely that should also apply, and we should give the same unilateral exemption, if that is the right word, to the two cases where there is a double taxation agreement and which does not cover this point? In so far as it is clearly unilateral because it is a provision which relates to cases where there is no agreement whatever, surely we are equally entitled to make the same unilateral decision in respect of countries with which there is a double tax agreement which is unsatisfactory in character in this respect?

I am not sure if I quite follow the Deputy but what I have said is that this section is not effective, or rather is effective only where the investment is made in a country with which a double taxation agreement is not in force.

But the explanatory memorandum says that it extends to companies trading at Shannon Airport the measure of unilateral relief which was provided by section 35 of the Finance Act, 1968 in respect of countries with which there is no double taxation agreement. It is unilateral. We do not ask anybody else; we do it ourselves. We are providing it for the countries with which there is no double tax agreement. Why are we not providing it in respect of countries with which there is a double tax agreement if it does not give this particular benefit and when they are the two most important countries in respect of which this could be required?

I think we are at cross purposes here. I think the Deputy is talking about the previous section.

I am only talking about section 55 and the explanatory memorandum on section 55. Everything I have said and everything I have read out relates to that. The explanatory memorandum goes on to say that this relief will apply only in relation to investment in countries with which this State has not concluded a double taxation agreement. I do not know why the Minister is talking about section 54. I never mentioned it.

Perhaps I should have laid stress on this. The word I used a few times was that the section is "effective" only in the cases where the investments is made in countries with which a double taxation agreement is not in force. As the Deputy said himself, where the double taxation agreement is in force we do not need this section.

Where the double taxation agreement is in force and provides the relief——

Yes, you do not need the section. Then you have the other category where there is no double taxation agreement where this is effective. In the two cases of which the Deputy is speaking the section is not effective because of the policies of the two governments concerned.

Why not? If it is unilateral relief what have their policies got to do with it?

The relief is given as far as we are concerned.

But not as far as they are concerned.

If we can give a unilateral relief where there is no agreement in force, and it is entirely a matter for us to give this relief, what is stopping us from giving it in cases where there are double taxation agreements which are ineffective for this purpose? Is there something in these agreements which prevents us giving this relief?

Then why do we not give it?

This is where we are at cross purposes and I plead guilty. I think I am responsible for it. So far as section 55 is concerned we have only two categories: (a) where we have a double taxation agreement, where this section is not needed, and (b) where we do not have a double taxation agreement and where this operates. The question of the extra category, the US and UK, arises in relation to section 54 and not section 55.

In relation to the UK and the USA do we unilaterally give the relief?

But we cannot make them give it if they do not want to?

No. In fact the policies of those two governments are opposed to this.

That is all right. That is what I thought it was.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 56 agreed to.
NEW SECTION.

I move amendment No. 30a:

Before section 57 to insert a new section as follows:—

"Notwithstanding anything contained in the Income Tax Acts income derived from the export of tomatoes shall not be taken into account for the purpose of assessment to tax."

Assessment to tax has been a matter of concern to tomato producers for some time past. I would ask the Minister to accept my amendment so that the tomato industry might go ahead as it has been doing in recent years. The Minister knows that a considerable amount of money has been provided by the Government by way of grants for expansion of the tomato-growing industry. These grants have been taken up and considerable progress has been made. However, the industry has now reached a point where a further move is necessary. The Minister will recall that the grants have been suspended by the Department of Agriculture because they are aware that a further move is needed. The move is required in the area of marketing.

We have reached a point where demand for tomatoes on the home market for the greater part of the year is satisfied and at certain periods there is a surplus supply. If the surplus is not exported the price on the home market drops below economic production level. I know this is a matter of concern to the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries as indicated by the fact that expansion has been halted until progress is made on the marketing side of the business.

One of the greatest fillips given to the mushroom industry was tax exemption which was also given to other industrial projects under the 1956 Act. I do not see any reason for denying to the tomato-growing industry the exemption given to the mushroom-growing industry. In both cases you prepare a seed bed, you sow the seed, the crops are packed in almost identical containers and are exported to the same markets. I shall be very surprised if the Minister is not prepared to accept this amendment and to give this concession to the tomato-growing industry.

The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries is anxious to expand tomato production. We started off with an area in the region of 3,000 acres and we want to increase that to 10,000 acres in order to have a continuous supply for the export market. Quite considerable expenditure is necessary in the promotion of exports. The industry has not got a marketing body although they have been looking for such an organisation for some time past to determine standards and other factors essential for the successful operation of an export trade.

Tax exemption would be a tremendous fillip and is what the industry needs at the moment to encourage exportation. The smaller people in the business who have not got the necessary export organisation do not wish to export but if the larger concerns sell exclusively on the home market the price drops below the economic level. Therefore, I would urge the Minister to accept the amendment.

I should like to develop the reasoned argument of Deputy Clinton and to give as comparisons export incentives in industry. I cannot see any difference between the exportation of tomatoes which are intensively cultivated and which create considerable employment, and the exportation, say, of tinned foods and the dehydrated foods that Erin Foods, among other organisations, produce which quite properly enjoy tax relief. I do not understand why in the case of this intensively cultivated crop new exports are excluded from this freedom from income tax.

Deputy Clinton has been quite clear about the policy which is known to us all and which has been recently published in a booklet on agriculture— namely, to expand the glasshouse industry by about 2½ times its present size and thus provide the quantity required. In view of the fact that there are many tomato producers in my constituency I am aware of certain other factors in relation to this industry. The Department have been extremely wise in ensuring that a quality tomato is produced in this country; it travels well and is of a higher quality than the continental tomato. Representatives of British supermarket stores have been very anxious to get a constant flow of Irish tomatoes because of their high quality.

I am sure this amendment will be accepted because it is quite obvious that it is a reasoned and sensible one. I mentioned the fact that dehydrated vegetables, such as peas and beans, are exported and enjoy tax relief. In this process the vegetables are taken from the fields, they are dehydrated and eventually canned but in the case of the tomato industry the crop is cultivated under glass at a cost of £25,000 per acre. The expenditure involved in the tomato industry, the amount of intensive cultivation and the labour created in the whole operation would appear to me to be a far more detailed undertaking and possibly of greater benefit for this country than the other crops I have mentioned. I would add that the other products have their own value and quite properly enjoy tax relief but the exclusion of the tomato industry from this relief certainly needs correction. Every Finance Bill introduced into this House needs correction and revision the following year. The Finance Bill takes so long to deal with because it is so detailed, and many changes have to be made as experience each year shows are necessary. There is an unanswerable case here for the extension of export tax relief to the production of tomatoes.

My last argument in favour of Deputy Clinton's case is that it is practically impossible—I use that phrase to mean not practical—in this country to grow tomatoes in the open air. If export tax relief was given there is no question of anyone being in a position to grow tomatoes in a field and export them. This is not possible.

The industry is faced with heating and covering by glass wide areas at a cost of £25,000 per acre; the employment of men to produce the heated atmosphere required, to deal with the plants and pluck off the blossoms not required, to look after the disease factor, sterilise the clay in the glasshouses, remove that clay after each operation and completely replace it. Tomato growing is as close to industrial production to which export tax relief is extended as anything can be. It is certainly as close as mushroom growing and production of chicks, if not closer. There cannot be the slightest doubt that tomatoes should be treated in the same way.

Deputy Clinton said he would be surprised if this amendment were not accepted. It would be more accurate to say he would be surprised if it were accepted. He has unsuccessfully tried to have this idea accepted before. Exemption from income tax liability as related to exports is confined to exports of manufactured goods. The only exceptions are cultivated mushrooms and fish produced on a fish farm. I do not know the origin of these exceptions but they exist.

Arising out of something which Deputy Donegan said, there may be some misconception about this. Dehydration, packing,et cetera are processes to which tomatoes are not subject. If tomatoes were dehydrated, cooked, preserved or tinned they would qualify for export tax relief but as they are not if they were to be granted this exemption there are a number of other products which could equally well claim exemption. I agree this is not a conclusive argument for not giving the exemption in the case of tomatoes but it is one which makes any Minister for Finance look closely at the situation. There would be a very strong case for a number of other products to be included on the same basis as tomatoes if this relief were given.

Apart from the financial implications of this there are other aspects to it. If such exemption were to be given some difficulty might arise under the Free Trade Area Agreement. I do not think this would be insuperable but certainly there would be objections. Even more difficult at the present time would be the fact that it could give rise to some difficulties in connection with our negotiations to join the EEC. We would have to phase out this kind of relief as a result of joining the EEC and to introduce it at a time when we are actually negotiating for entry could present a number of difficulties for our negotiators. For these various reasons I find myself unable to accept the amendment.

I had a not taken that I had omitted to mention the EEC. In my view the Minister should be extremely anxious to have this relief for the tomato industry before we enter the EEC. The Minister's feeling and the feeling expressed in this House is that commitments already entered into will be honoured in relation to relief of this kind particularly income tax relief on exports. It would be of great benefit to this country if the tomato industry could be included before we reached any sort of advanced stage. We have only just introduced our application; we shall be doing nothing for several months. This tax relief could be afait accompli now.

We want to expand our tomato industry but we are several years behind some of the countries already in the EEC in relation to tomato cultivation and the production of glasshouse crops. One of the things the Department of Industry and Commerce, the IDA and the Department of Finance are always anxious to ensure is that when they give a grant to an industry that industry will succeed. They are also anxious to ensure that there should be as large an export content as possible in the industry. If we want exports of tomatoes to increase and the expansion of the industry—we have all the evidence we need that the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries knows it is extremely important to expand the tomato industry—this tax relief would be a great fillip to the industry.

The Minister attempted to say that because there was no processing involved this sort of relief could not be provided. I would remind the Minister that both the mushroom industry and the products of fish farms were given this relief. On two previous occasions I tried to get two different Ministers for Finance to accept that similar relief should be provided for day-old chick exports. On both occasions the Ministers concerned said they were in sympathy with this but that for the time being at any rate they could not provide it. Last year I raised the matter again and I told the Minister that I knew if relief was not provided at that time we would lose exports of day-old chicks worth £300,000 because if the people concerned did not get the relief they would have to set up in the North of Ireland. Relief was not provided; they set up in the North of Ireland and we lost all those exports. I appeal to the Minister not to look at this in the same sort of way simply because it is an amendment brought in by a member of the Opposition. Deputy Donegan has spoken about the degree of processing in other industries. We are told that the jam manufacturing industry will be in serious trouble when we join the EEC because the bulk of the contents for jam are imported. Yet this industry gets tax relief.

The North Dublin Growers are another case in point. Their premises are only a grading place. This firm was entitled to grants which we could previously give only to manufacturing industries. If the Minister wants to do it, he has the precedent. There is nothing in existing legislation to prevent him from accepting this amendment. Far from it being a disadvantage, as I see it, it would be a positive advantage to this country. Tomatoes are one of the commodities which are exempt under the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement. They do not come into it. The British can register no protest. Even if Britain did register a protest, we could ignore it. When it suited Britain to ignore the terms of their agreement they did so. They did so in the case of the deposit scheme. It was admitted to me and other Deputies that there was a flagrant breach.

It was not admitted at Government level.

We had the same thing in relation to cheese. Tomatoes are outside the scope of the agreement. I appeal to the Minister to be sensible about it and to see that this would be an asset for the country.

I still adhere to the view that the harvesting of French beans and dehydrating and packing them is less complicated than growing tomatoes at a capital cost of £25,000 per statute acre. The amount of employment involved is less. Deputy Clinton mentioned the fish farm situation and the mushroom situation. Mushrooms are grown in old, disused houses or sheds with thick walls, which lend themselves to the development of this type of horticulture. What is the difference between getting an old shed, growing mushrooms, putting them in a chip and sending them off and producing tomatoes? Tomatoes are grown in glasshouses which are heated and then put in a chip, graded and sent off. The probability is that the capital expenditure involved in the growing of mushrooms is tiny in comparison with the expenditure involved in the growing of tomatoes. We have given State grants towards the capital expenditure of £25,000.

We have the situation that something which is exactly on a par with another type of production in the same field is excluded, while the first item is assisted by grant. Tomato growing involves heavy capital expenditure, employs more people and is a more detailed process. I prophesy that, if the Minister does not accept this amendment, some other Minister for Finance will accept it. The Minister says he does not know about the mushroom and fish farms. Pressure will bring a Minister for Finance to do what is right and fair. This is the same old conservative attitude. We are told that by accepting this the door will be opened for further grants. There is no good in the Minister for Finance being a stick-in-the-mud. This country cannot afford to have that sort of Minister for Finance. In this time of little stability it is necessary to attack export markets. We can attack them by sending our people to sell our tomatoes abroad in order to bring in the money which is so necessary here.

I do not wish to broaden the scope of this debate. But for the fact that people cannot sign cheques abroad the slightly better trade figures produced last month would not have occurred. They are artificial. We will be sorry if the Minister does not accept this amendment. We should encourage further exports. It is only a question of time until this is done. The Minister has pointed to one reason why it should be done now. We are approaching the EEC. The fact that we sell our tomatoes to Britain will have as much effect on our negotiations with the EEC as I would have in a statement to the Canadian or American Parliament. It will have no effect whatever. The acceptance of this amendment would give the fillip which is necessary and would bring about the expansion which has been mentioned by Deputy Clinton. Tomato production could be more than doubled. The Minister would be well advised to accept this amendment. If he does not accept it, he is wrong, and is merely holding up something which will be done by another Minister for Finance in the not too distant future.

I should like the Minister to say a little more on this. I hope the Minister will intervene before we put this amendment to the House. I should like the Minister to tell us what other products do not receive this type of relief. They must be very few indeed. Does the Minister consider it is desirable that the glasshouse industry should expand and that our tomato exports should increase? If he does, does he consider this would give a great fillip to the tomato industry?

We have reached a point in the industry where for a considerable portion of the year we have tomato surpluses. Export is vital if the industry is to expand. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries say that they have only suspended these grants and will re-introduce them. They also say they have a target size and that this depends on the success of exports. I attended a symposium in relation to this matter last year. There was a man there from Britain who said that he would take all the Irish tomatoes he could get if he could get them consistently and in quantity, if he could be assured of getting the quantity. At the present time our quantities for export are small. Nobody is prepared to build up for the export market. From a national point of view, it is desirable that this relief should be provided in order to stimulate exports at a vital period for the tomato industry.

At the moment the development of the production of chicory in this country is carried on in conditions similar to those under which mushrooms are produced. Chicory is produced in old, darkened houses with thick walls. Its production creates probably a little more employment than the production of mushrooms. What is going to happen when we start to export chicory?

We will worry about that when it happens.

We will not have too long to wait.

The reason why I did not intervene a second time was that I do not think I can add much to what has been said. The Deputies opposite have not added much to what was said the first time. The reliefs given for mushrooms could be justified on the basis that mushroom growing is a completely artificial process but I think that this is a technical distinction. The basic problem here is whether we want to see an expansion in the export of tomatoes. I certainly would like to see an expansion of all our exports. It is not quite as simple as that. If we were to give tax exemptions in respect of all our exports we might achieve enormous growth in exports but we would not be able to pay for the various services which we ought to provide. Indeed, if this were to go too far, it would be grossly unjust because there would be an expansion in the economy in which it would not be possible for the community in general to share owing to the absence of any payment of taxation.

Could the Minister indicate any of the things which have not got this relief?

There are a great many of them. Speaking in large terms, what about tomatoes?

There is no tax on farmers' produce of that kind.

He is not incometaxed.

What horticultural products?

Almost all horticultural produce would come into the same category.

The Minister knows we have no export of horticultural produce.

The dried flowers the Deputy talked about, and so on. The Deputy does not appreciate the difficulties in relation to the EEC. It is not that this will cause a major ripple in the EEC—it will not—but it will place our negotiators in a very difficult position because of our introducing this at a time when we have actually commenced negotiations, as distinct from anything that was done before any such exemptions existed. Not alone would it place them in an awkward position, but it would place those who would hope to benefit in an awkward position, too, because I would not like to lay any money on our being able to hold on to this for any length of time. I think any prudent man would calculate that something introduced after negotiations commenced would not survive very long after the commencement of the transitional period.

But this is not something new. It is something which is in existence. It is something we are expanding.

I would not guarantee that we would be able to put that across.

Let the Minister wait until he finds how much the continentals will try to put across him.

I do not say we could not try, but there is a difference between trying and succeeding. I should also point out that, although the figures may not be very large, the increase in the export of tomatoes in the last few years has been very substantial because of the grants made available. I regret I find myself unable to accept this amendment.

Amendment put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 48; Níl, 62.

  • Barry, Richard.
  • Belton, Luke.
  • Browne, Noël.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Burke, Joan.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Burke, Richard.
  • Burton, Philip.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Clinton, Mark A.
  • Cluskey, Frank.
  • Conlan, John F.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Governey, Desmond.
  • Hogan, Patrick.
  • Hogan O'Higgins, Brigid.
  • Jones, Denis F.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Keating, Justin.
  • Kenny, Henry.
  • L'Estrange, Gerald.
  • Lynch, Gerard.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Dockrell, Maurice E.
  • Donegan, Patrick S.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dunne, Thomas.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
  • Finn, Martin.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Cavan)
  • Fox, Billy.
  • O'Donnell, Patrick.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Donovan, John.
  • O'Hara, Thomas.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Reilly, Paddy.
  • O'Sullivan, John L.
  • Ryan, Richie.
  • Taylor, Francis.
  • Thornley, David.
  • Tully, James.

Níl

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Barrett, Sylvester.
  • Boland, Kevin.
  • Boylan, Terence.
  • Brady, Philip A.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick J.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Childers, Erskine.
  • Colley, George.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Connolly, Gerard C.
  • Cowen, Bernard.
  • Cronin, Jerry.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • de Valera, Vivion.
  • Dowling, Joe.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Dublin Central).
  • Flanagan, Seán.
  • Foley, Desmond.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gallagher, James.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gibbons, Hugh.
  • Gibbons, James.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Healy, Augustine A.
  • Herbert, Michael.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Hussey, Thomas.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lalor, Patrick J.
  • Lemass, Noel T.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Loughnane, William A.
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • Lynch, John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • Meaney, Thomas.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Nolan, Thomas.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connor, Timothy.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Des.
  • Power, Patrick.
  • Sheridan, Joseph.
  • Sherwin, Seán.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Timmons, Eugene.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers:— Tá: Deputies R. Burke and Cluskey; Níl: Deputies Andrews and Meaney.
Amendment declared lost.
Section 57 agreed to.
SECTION 58.

Amendment No. 31 has been discussed with amendment No. 30.

I move amendment No. 31:

In page 30, line 50, after "Act" to insert "(other than a levy under section 54 of this Act)".

Amendment agreed to.
Section 58, as amended, agreed to.
Section 59 agreed to.
FIRST SCHEDULE.

I move amendment No. 32:

In page 33, before the line "BOND, accompanied with a deposit of title deeds, for" to insert "Exemption.

Bond on obtaining letters of administration."

I think amendment No. 36 might be taken with amendment No. 32. Under the new First Schedule of Stamp Duties it was not intended that duty would be charged under two headings which were specified in the old First Schedule, that is, bond on obtaining letters of administration and award. It was thought at first that mere omission from the new Schedule would secure exemption. It is now clear that specific words of exemption are required since there are alternative headings under which they would become liable in the absence of this specific exemption.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 33 in the name of Deputy O'Higgins is ruled out of order with amendment No. 35. Amendment No. 34.

I did not hear that.

Amendment No. 33 has been ruled out of order.

Because it imposes a charge on the people which is not within province of Deputies to impose. Amendment No. 35 is a composite proposal.

Amendment No. 33 not moved.

I move amendment No. 34:

In page 34, in the thirteenth line, after "Of any property" to insert "excluding the value of the goodwill thereof".

My hesitation arose out of not being quite clear as to on what grounds amendments Nos. 33 and 35 can be ruled out of order and amendment No. 34 be in order as they aim to deal with the same problem although to a different degree. However, the case was made on section 39 and I do not propose to say any more about it beyond pointing out that this amendment would give effect to what the Minister said was the intention and purpose of the change being made, and would limit it to that. I made the case for that on section 39 and I do not propose to press the matter any further at this stage.

Is amendment No. 34 withdrawn?

No, not withdrawn.

The Minister has indicated that it is not acceptable.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Amendment No. 35 not moved.

I move amendment No. 36:

In page 37, before "a charter-party" to insert "an award,".

Amendment agreed to.
First Schedule, as amended, agreed to.
Second Schedule agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.

Tomorrow?

Has that been agreed? I understood it was to be taken next week.

I am not absolutely certain what was agreed but I think it was agreed that the Bill would be disposed of in the Dáil this week. It has to go to the Seanad and there is a statutory time limit for its passing. Let us put it this way: we can order it for tomorrow and the Whips can discuss it in the meantime.

Report Stage ordered for Thursday, 23rd July, 1970.