Written Answers. - Agricultural Co-operatives Modernisation.

189.

asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy the legislation, if any, planned to modernise the operation of agricultural co-operatives.

I would refer the Deputy to my speech on the Second Reading of the Industrial and Provident Societies (Amendment) Bill, 1978, in which I indicated my intention to have commenced, as soon as other legislative priorities permitted, a complete and full overhaul of the industrial and provident societies code which governs the operations of agricultural co-operatives. This exercise will, however, involve a review of a substantial body of law and, consequently, will take some time to complete.

I should mention that the 1978 Act introduced some basic and important amendments to the same code. In particular, it up-dated accounting requirements for societies, including agricultural co-operatives, to coincide with basic company requirements with a view to ensuring an acceptable level of disclosure and accountability to members.