Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bord na gCapall.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he will be able to continue, after EEC membership, to give a grant-in-aid to Bord na gCapall in respect of its work in the promotion of the export of Irish non-thoroughbred horses.

I would refer the Deputy to paragraph 200 of the white paper published in January on "The Accession of Ireland to the European Communities". Paragraph 200 outlines the position on sales promotion and market intelligence by semi-State bodies after accession.

Would the Minister tell me specifically whether or not he will be able to continue to give the money? The Minister knows as well as I do that the answer to that question is not given in the paragraph to which he referred.

There is no reason to believe that the operations of Bord na gCapall in the promotion of their stated aims under their Act cannot be continued.

Is the Minister aware that in column 187 of the Official Report for 23rd February he told me specifically that it was not likely that it would be possible for an Irish Government agency using Irish money to promote Irish butter on the export market when we would be in the EEC? Now he tells us that it would be possible for Bord na gCapall to promote the export of Irish thoroughbred horses. If there are uniform rules in relation to agricultural policy, both statements cannot be correct.

The Deputy's reasoning is extremely faulty. He is forgetting the fact that Bord Bainne hitherto have had monopoly export powers. No such powers obtain in the case of the Horse Board whose business was largely promotional. So that the functions of Bord Bainne on the one hand will have to be altered but that provision does not apply to Bord na gCapall.

Would the Minister not agree that what he said at column 187 was specifically in relation to promotion of Irish butter as distinct from marketing and he said it was not possible?

I was speaking of marketing. It was specifically concerned with Bord Bainne, as the Deputy himself has said.

Promotion is promotion, no matter what product you are talking about.