This section gives the Minister power to make certain regulations for the grading and packing of potatoes. I should like to ask the Minister if he has power to prohibit the export of ware potatoes which are mixed or of mixed varieties.
Agricultural Produce (Potatoes) Bill, 1931—Committee.
There is such power.
I move in Section 26, sub-section (1), to delete in line 30 the figure and words "1st day of June" and to substitute therefor the figures and words "20th day of May." This section gives the Minister power to deal with the period in which potatoes are exported. It sometimes happens that new potatoes are exported before the 1st June, and I propose to substitute the 20th May for the 1st June.
I accept the amendment.
On the question of the Title, I want to raise a question which I had intended to raise on Section 6. The Bill passed so quickly through Committee that Section 6 was agreed to before I could get my own Bill open. Under the Bill as it now is, a grower of potatoes is refused a licence to export unless he has in the past exported potatoes. The grower gets a licence at £5 if he has hitherto exported potatoes, but if he has never exported potatoes he is refused a licence. I contend that that is not right. If I go into the cattle market I can buy what cattle I like, and send them where I like. Why should I not be allowed to act in the same manner in regard to potatoes?
Would the Senator raise the matter on Report Stage?
This is a question of policy. Would I be allowed to change the policy of the Bill on Report?
You can move an amendment to that section on Report.
Is the Senator referring to paragraph (c) of sub-section (3) of Section 6?
Is the Minister disputing what I say?
I want to be clear about it.
Are you satisfied that what I say is correct?
Section 6 says: "The Minister may grant a licence... to export potatoes from particular registered premises to any person who (a) is the registered proprietor of any such premises, and (b) is a grower of potatoes, and (c) was at any time before the commencement of this Act an exporter of potatoes grown by himself." Is that what the Senator objects to?
The Senator thinks that any grower should get a licence. I have not very strong views on that question, and I would be prepared to leave it to the Seanad to decide. I think it is an academic question, because I do not believe that many growers will apply for licences.
The Senator can move an amendment on the Report Stage.