Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Córas Beostoic agus Feola.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he will be able to continue, after EEC membership, to make a contribution towards the expenses of Córas Beostoic agus Feola.

The general position is as I indicated in my reply to a similar question by the Deputy on 23rd February. As matters stand at present, there would be no obstacle to such a contribution.

No objection?

No obstacle.

Why did the Minister say at column 187 that while it might be acceptable to advocate consumption of butter as such within the Community, if we as a Government were to advocate the use of Irish butter within the Community that would probably be considered unfair practice? Why is it possible to do it for meat and not for butter?

The Deputy is, possibly unwittingly, confusing two different matters. If it can be objected in the case of any particular board that their activities distort trade within the Community then it becomes objectionable within the Community. In neither case, arising in Question No. 35 or the preceding question, can such an assertion be made and, therefore, the activities of both these boards can be continued as heretofore.

Could the Minister just clarify one point? I accept that both bodies can continue but is it certain that we will be able to continue to give them Exchequer support as distinct from allowing them to continue with their own money?

I know of no reason because of the particular nature of the boards why support would have to cease because I cannot see any basis upon which a contention could be made that there was distortion of trade as a result.

The Minister does agree that it cannot happen with regard to butter or milk products?

I do. It is quite a different pattern.

The dairy farmers will be delighted to hear this.

The dairy farmers are looking forward very eagerly to entry to the Community.