Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 6 Nov 1974

Vol. 275 No. 7

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Visits Abroad.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he will give details of each visit to a foreign country undertaken since 31st March, 1974, including the overall cost of such visit and the advantage for this country arising therefrom.

As the particulars required are in the form of a tabular statement I propose, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to circulate them with the Official Report.

Practically all the visits undertaken by me during this period were for the purpose of attending meetings of the Council of (Agriculture) Ministers of the European Communities, which is a duty and privilege of EEC membership. I regard the remaining visits, which involved discussions on agricultural questions with ministers of individual member states and with the EEC Commissioner for Agriculture as a normal part of my duties as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.

Following is the statement:

1 Visits abroad undertaken by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries since 31st March, 1974





April 28th-May 1st


Council of Ministers


May 6th-8th


Council of Ministers


May 12th-16th


Meeting of EEC Agriculture Ministers


June 3rd-5th


Council of Ministers


June 17th-19th


Council of Ministers


June 30th-July 2nd

United Kingdom

Royal Agricultural Show and talks with UK Minister for Agriculture


July 10th-11th


Meeting with EEC Commissioner for Agriculture


July 14th-17th


Council of Ministers


July 24th-27th


Official visit to Denmark (including talks with Danish Minister for Agriculture)


September 2nd-4th


Council of Ministers


September 13th-14th


Meeting with UK Minister for Agriculture and EEC Commissioner for Agriculture


September 16th-20th


Council of Ministers


October 1st-3rd


Council of Ministers


October 6th-9th


Meeting of EEC Agriculture Ministers


October 20th-22nd


Council of Ministers


Net cost to Exchequer (after deduction of refunds from EEC)—£1,723.

2 Visits abroad undertaken by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries since 31st March, 1974





October 6th-11th

Lausanne Switzerland

FAO Conference


On a point of order— I think I am correct in saying, although I am not absolutely sure because there was some confusion, that the Parliamentary Secretary replied to Question No. 15 and it was then discovered that he had skipped some questions. He went back to them and there were supplementary questions on them and when Deputies endeavoured to ask supplementary questions on Question No. 15 he had gone on to further questions. In other words, there was not an opportunity to ask supplementaries on Question No. 15. I think that is correct and, if so, I submit that Deputies should be allowed supplementaries.

There was slight confusion there but I think the question was answered once, if not twice. There were no supplementaries at the time.

I wish to ask a supplementary question on Question No. 15.

The Chair has made very little progress with questions today but it is anxious to facilitate Deputies.

The Chair is doing its best under very adverse conditions.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary not aware that just now growers are making plans for 1975? They must make plans now and it is vitally important to them to know whether or not there will be a subsidy in 1975. Will the Parliamentary Secretary make a categoric announcement, preferably in the affirmative, on this matter immediately?

The increase in oil prices bears heavily on many activities within the State and, as a special measure the Department made available £275,000 to glasshouse owners for a specific period of six months. There is no provision for the continuance of that subsidy. It was set down as a six-months' subsidy which cost the taxpayers £275,000. That subsidy has been paid.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary now stating definitely that this subsidy will not be continued in 1975?

There is no provision for its continuance in 1975 at present.

There may be no provision made but it is important that growers should know now what the position will be. Surely the Parliamentary Secretary realises this and will he say definitely whether there will be a subsidy in 1975? If he must say "no", let him say "no".

The growers got a bonus from public funds of £275,000 for a six-months' period and this was clearly set out. A subvention is a subvention. Everybody was aware that it was for a six-months' period. That subvention has been paid and there is no provision to continue it for a further six months.

The crisis still exists.

The Chair went back to this question to facilitate the Deputy but the Chair now wants to make progress.

Surely the House is entitled to a straightforward answer on this vital question?

I have answered the question by saying there is no provision for the continuance of this subsidy at present.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary stating definitely that the subsidy will not——

The Chair has called Question No. 18.

I have made the statement that there is no provision for the continuance of this subsidy.

Therefore, there will be no subsidy?

Question No. 18, please.