The House does not appear to have grasped clearly the purposes of this motion. I would again emphasise that it deals with a tribunal of inquiry. When Senators talk about the desirability of securing the particular views of various sections of the community—the producer, the administrator in the local authority service or in the central authority service, the distributor, consumer, and so on—they fail to grasp the fundamental purpose of the motion, that is, to set up a tribunal of inquiry to inquire into every conceivable aspect of the problem of the milk supply in the City of Dublin or the Dublin milk area, the adequacy of supply, the purity and wholesomeness of the supply, marketing and distribution and so on, as set out in the Order Paper. The conception is entirely different from the conception that some Senators seem to have in mind.
The idea of a commission of inquiry which members of the House have in mind is entirely different from the proposal before the House. It is hoped that all interests that have been mentioned, consumers and those with specialised knowledge, will put that knowledge at the disposal of the tribunal for its information and guidance, so that when they come to report the result of their investigations, every aspect of the question will have been fully before them.
Senator Baxter raised a question as to the need for this inquiry. In fact there is a shortage of milk in the Dublin area, particularly in the winter months, and, in order to make good the supply, creameries in outlying areas had to be called upon to augment it. Some of these creameries have up-to-date pasteurising plant and, in that way, the milk supply for human consumption may be reasonably safe from the health point of view, but other creameries that have had to be called upon in outside areas, have not the pasteurising facilities that completely comply with health requirements. Senators will appreciate that milk supplied to creameries is not produced under conditions as stringent as we try to enforce with regard to the production of milk for direct human consumption. We now have to call upon milk that has been produced for manufacturing purposes, and we are naturally somewhat uneasy from the public health point of view. There is no doubt that the whole of the milk supplied in the City of Dublin for human consumption is not safe from that point of view. It is very difficult to see how the problem is going to be solved, but it is because it is difficult and intricate, that we propose to set up this tribunal to see what light and guidance we can get from the joint wisdom of the people interested.
From the investigations of the tribunal we will, probably, learn something as to what improvements we can make in the milk supply for human consumption in areas outside Dublin. For the present the functions of the tribunal will be confined to the Dublin supply area. I hope Senator Counihan will go before the tribunal. He certainly seems to have given a good deal of thought to the problem and perhaps, if Senator Hayes, as a consumer, could give evidence it would be useful. Consumers as such will not be represented on the tribunal any more than producers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers or other interests concerned. I would be inclined to agree with Senator O'Donovan that we are all consumers. If I were on the tribunal perhaps I would be particularly biassed from the consumers' point of view, as I would look upon myself as a consumer. Similarly, I think from whatever section we draw the personnel, all will be primarily consumers.