Milk and Dairies (Amendment) Bill, 1956—Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

Before the adjournment, I was speaking on some points dealing with the details of this Bill and which are made clear for us by this memorandum. I was dealing with what the memorandum and the Bill say about Section 12, in which certain creameries are brought within the provisions of the Act, and which I think is a good thing. I notice, and I am quoting here from the paragraph dealing with Section 12 in the memorandum, that creameries will now be "required to obtain from registered producers that portion of their milk intake which is utilised for the liquid trade." There is a distinction, and creameries will still be permitted, apparently, if they want to, to take some of their milk for making butter from unregistered producers.

I should like to hear the Minister's comment on that. I am not quite sure what the implication is, whether it is felt that the disadvantages of certain unregistered producers' premises are not so important when the milk they are producing is for making butter. I should like to know the implications of making this apply only to the portion of their intake utilised for the liquid trade.

The other point I want to make relates to Section 1 of Section 3 and it refers to Section 26, sub-section (8) of the Principal Act, on the first page of this memorandum and which reads:—

"Section 26 (8) of the Principal Act made it obligatory on the sanitary authority to cancel the registration of a dairyman who is convicted three times within a period of five years for offences under that Act or under the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts."

The Minister is asking under this Bill that that regulation shall be changed because it operated "unduly harshly" in some cases. I am not entirely convinced of that fact. Admittedly he makes a point about a retailer, but even so if a retailer is "convicted three times within five years" for the same offence, it does not seem unduly harsh.

The offence can be technical, and although the explanation might be adequate, a conviction must be recorded.

It does depend—and I am satisfied with the Minister's explanation—on the Minister's consent, and I think we can be satisfied, therefore, that sufficient safeguard is still maintained. Having praised some of the details of the Bill, and I think I could give many other examples, it does nevertheless give me the impression of being a slightly patchwork Bill. It does tighten up a number of things and inserts good new legislation. It seals off certain loopholes, and makes flexible laws which were previously perhaps too harsh. All of that I think is good, but what it does not do in any way is to present an overall plan, amending the original Act, although it is an Amendment Bill. I should have preferred it, if it had been found possible, to implement more fully, in a more general way, most of the recommendations of the Tribunal of Inquiry into the milk supply which brought out its report in December, 1946.

In 1945-46 they made a very detailed inquiry into the whole milk position in the Dublin sale district, and they made a number of excellent recommendations. I should like to hear the Minister's view, or intended policy, in regard to these recommendations. I am a little disappointed that he has not taken the opportunity which this Bill offered to bring in something like an overall plan such as was recommended by the Tribunal. They suggested the establishment of "a milk board with adequate powers to organise and direct milk production and distribution". They gave details of the composition of the board and suggested that there should be a committee which would have representatives of the producers, distributors, consumers and the departmental and other experts.

It seems to me that that recommendation was a very sound one, and most of us would feel happier if it had been enshrined in this Bill, in order to plan more effectively the overall pattern. One of their recommendations has been partly implemented through the efforts of the present Minister, and more actively still in recent months, that was in regard to bovine tuberculosis. The recommendation in 1946 was that the "planned eradication of bovine tuberculosis" should be set about, and the measures to be taken should be "such as to achieve appreciable results in not more than ten years". I cannot help feeling that if these recommendations had been seriously implemented in 1947, 1948, 1949, and so on we would be in a happier position to-day with regard to bovine tuberculosis.

I notice also that there is no reference in the present suggested amendments, to the fact that with regard to various diseases they recommend that the penicillin, the sulphinanomides, and so on, used for treatment should be provided free in order to eradicate the disease as quickly as possible. They deal also—and I do not think any of the provisions in this Bill are adequate to deal with it—with the question of overlapping of services for the distribution of milk in Dublin. They contend that a board set up would be able to deal with that in a way which cannot be done just by legislation as it now stands.

The last point I wish to mention is that they felt it was wrong that milk from cows which have passed only the preliminary tuberculin tests should be sold as highest grade milk. I do not, in this amending legislation, see that that is prevented. I may be ignorant on the point, and possibly some other measure has re-defined "highest grade milk" so as to preclude the inclusion in it of milk from cows which have only passed a preliminary test. If that is so, I should like the Minister's assurance on that point.

Therefore, when the Minister was setting about amending the milk and Dairies Act, I should have welcomed something a little more radical, a Bill that would have enabled the production, sale and distribution of milk to be more generally planned. I notice, for instance, that in the Bill, in Section 50, the Minister, the Minister for Agriculture, the sanitary authority or a dairyman may submit samples of milk in accordance with the regulations "under Section 49 of this Act". I think that is a very good section. I notice the same authority for the submission of milk samples is confined——

In what section?

In Section 50 of part VII of the Bill, dealing with the submission of milk samples.

There are only 31 sections in the Bill.

Have I got lost in the Bill?

Section 25 deals with the substitution of certain words in another Bill for the words that are in it. I see what the Senator is referring to.

I am sorry. I misdirected the Minister. It is of course Section 25. The number 50 is in leaded type in this Bill. It is not "Section 50". This paragraph is headed "50".

The submission of milk samples for testing and analysis, as I understand it, by that particular section, is confined—the right to submit them—to the Minister, the Minister for Agriculture, a sanitary authority or a dairyman. I should like to see that right extended to consumers. It would be a good thing if it were possible for the ordinary consumer to have a given sample of milk tested in that way and I do not think it could possibly do any harm, and it might well do a lot of good.

Therefore in the main I welcome this Bill. I think what it does is good. I do not think I have criticised it very much in detail, and what I have criticised is mainly on the ground that it does not present an overall plan, but is content to patch up the existing legislation and above all, that it does not seriously attempt to carry out the recommendations of the 1946 Milk Inquiry Tribunal Report.

I have no doubt that the provisions of this Bill will still further improve the quality of milk being produced and will tend to make milk still cleaner. However, I should like to draw the Minister's attention to the lack of liquid milk in certain districts along the western seaboard. For instance, in West Donegal, with which district I am very familiar, the milk supply is particularly scarce during the winter months. I am aware that milk has to be transported for distances up to 20 miles to serve some of the villagers in that area. It is not a milk producing county; although there is one organisation in Letterkenny which takes a fair amount of milk, apart from that, there are very few dairies in the county. During the winter months, there is a great scarcity of milk and it is often a compliment to obtain a supply during certain months of the year.

Apart from the fact that this Bill will inconvenience those who obtain supplies, it will result, in my opinion, in people who require milk being deprived of it because of the fact that they will not register. For instance, I know a person who is a very lawabiding citizen, who lives in a village which has over 200 of a population which apparently is referred to in Section 11 of the Bill. Consequently, in my opinion, he would be committing an offence by purchasing milk from an individual who supplies only that particular customer. Naturally, persons such as this will not go to the expense, although the house or the byre in which the cows are kept is comparatively clean, in comparison with many other holders in the locality. I am also aware of the position that vendors of milk during those winter months have to obtain a certain quantity from other neighbours and that is not permitted under this Bill. I feel that apparently the Minister will not be in a position to give a licence to people who sell milk to be consumed in those villages.

I think I made provision for that, that in places of scarcity such as the Senator describes, I retain a power to exempt.

I understood that the Minister could only do that in a rural area where the population of the village is under 200. I refer the Minister to Section 11, sub-section (1) (b) (iii). At any rate, it is obvious that the quantity of milk produced in that area is not sufficient and if the regulations are enforced, as they can be enforced when the Bill is passed, there certainly will be less milk available for the consuming public.

I would ask the Minister to consider setting out in the Bill certain areas. He could make inquiries as to those areas in the country in which the supply is not sufficient. Perhaps he could schedule those areas, even though one may be a village with a population to which the Bill might refer.

The Senator may be quite at ease. I can do it even in Dublin. There is no restriction on the population count which he apprehends.

If that is so, I am satisfied, as long as the Minister is satisfied.

While I am a great supporter of pasteurised milk, pasteurisation does not give any guarantee of clean milk. Of course, the harm is taken out of the milk. I was in Belfast last year and went to see a pasteurisation plant. I learned from inquiries there that they give at least twopence per gallon more to the man who supplies clean milk, as against the man who supplies dirty milk. I was told that the experience there was interesting because they had a good supply of good clean milk over a short period.

We do not allow them to deliver dirty milk here at all.

I know we do not allow it, but they do not allow it in the Belfast pasteurisation plant, either. However, they have tried to secure clean milk, as clean as it possibly can be; that is one of the ways they get it and they have secured the co-operation of the Minister of Agriculture.

Is the Senator not going to sing the praises of the milk supplied for him in Cork?

That is very far from hygienic. I would like to see the whole of the supply brought under the jurisdiction of the sanitary authority or the Minister's Department.

Et tu, Brute.

I can see milk being distributed at the moment in Cork in a most unhygienic manner. I am not disputing at all what the Minister has done about Cork City, but I can still see loose milk distributed around Cork City under very unhygienic conditions. Is there any chance of bringing all these people together on the question of the pasteurisation of the supply to the people? On the question of creameries, I see milk coming to Dublin from creameries 160 miles from Dublin. What is the system of treating that, if that is being distributed afterwards to the people of Dublin? All of the milk in Dublin is not pasteurised, is it?

Over 90 per cent.

If milk comes 100 or 160 miles from outside the city in big churns and is given to somebody engaged in the distribution of loose milk, what is the check or guarantee, if any, in regard to a clean milk supply for the citizens of Dublin?

You may be certain it is pasteurised.

It is better to have a debate and not conduct this by way of question and answer.

I am suggesting that the more you do about having a guaranteed supply of milk, especially for the children, the better. I am not satisfied yet that the milk supply has been properly dealt with.

I should like to make one observation. I think the Minister should take power under this Bill to have the skim milk pasteurised also. That is one of the most fruitful causes of disease. I heard Father Coyne, Chairman of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, saying at the opening of a new creamery yesterday, that it was estimated that £38 million worth of live stock were lost through disease and that the single largest cause of that is skim milk.

Unlike Senator Sheehy Skeffington, I am not over-enthusiastic about the creation of boards and more boards. I think it was the late Tim Healy who said that there were already enough boards in existence, in his time, to construct Ireland's coffin.

Senator Sheehy Skeffington apparently has overlooked the fact that, as far as the large Cities of Dublin and Cork are concerned, there are Milk Boards already in operation. I think they could not be very much improved upon, but I do not want to think that we should add to their number.

There is no consumer representation on them.

That is right. The Senator has just said it.

They certainly have proved efficient and I think they have enormously improved the quality and the standard of the milk, certainly in the Dublin City area.

Does the Senator not think there should be consumer representation on that board?

That is another matter, not being dealt with in this Bill.

I do not like to answer that question, as I am not exactly sure of the constitution of the Milk Board at the moment. I thought there was such representation. Anyhow, they have done very useful work. As the Minister says, this Bill is a further tightening up of the law in relation to milk production and sale. Most people will welcome that. As the Minister says, it is not possible within the law to supply dirty milk to anybody in this State. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is rather an extraordinary thing that if you want to consume dirty milk, the only way you can do it is by keeping your own cows. If you keep your own cows you can drink the milk as dirty as you please. There again, I do not see very much wrong with that. I do not think the State should go so far as to seek to protect a man from himself, so to speak; but it is the duty and right of the State to protect the community. In addition to that, no matter how unhygienic the methods may be on the farm, I doubt if contamination of milk on the farm could be as great as might occur in a city. The number and variety of bacteria in circulation in the atmosphere in the city would in all probability be much greater.

Nothing can happen on the farm.

It would be greater than could possibly exist on a farm, but I doubt if there would be the variety. Anyhow, I am not against either the principle of this Bill in general or the principle that fairly stringent measures should be adopted to protect the public; but there is no real necessity yet to extend those measures to the farm itself where the farmer is producing for his own use.

On the other hand, Senator Sheehy Skeffington raised an interesting point, that if milk is supplied to a creamery for manufacture into butter, it is not necessary to comply with the high standards laid down for liquid milk. I can readily understand the reasons for this.

It would be extremely difficult to impose the same high standard rapidly, at any rate, for milk supplied to creameries. The number of farms affected and the quantity involved is very great. It might be desirable to step up gradually the standard of cleanliness of milk supplied to creameries.

In this connection, an investigation should be carried out into the cheapest methods of doing this. It was thought at one time that cow byres for example, should be modernised to a very high standard and sufficiently large to hold every cow on the farm. I think experience has shown that a small milking parlour, to provide for the milking of two cows at a time, which is brought up to a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene generally, would meet the problem and the cows would probably be cleaner and healthier in an open shed where the regulations of this Bill would not need to be enforced. That is something which ought to be studied, with a view to ensuring that a high standard of cleanliness can be provided, but provided at the minimum cost to the producer. This Bill will add very considerably to the cost of milk production. It will, therefore, render still more out of place the figures which the Minister produced recently in the Dáil as milk production costs, figures which he produced without authority.

That is not dealt with in this Bill and the Senator is not permitted to discuss it.

I submit, Sir, it is open to me to suggest that the effect of this Bill will be to increase the cost of production to the producers generally. That is not something which can be contested, and while I am not opposing the Bill, nor do I think the farming community generally oppose the Bill, I should like the Minister to say if, before introducing this Bill, he discussed it with the consultative council. If he did that, I am quite sure, as far as I know from discussions with farmers generally, they would be favourable to it.

There is a strong feeling in the country among farmers in favour of having their products of the highest standard and quality. That is a very welcome development. It is a harsh thing to say perhaps, but I rather welcome Senator Walsh's statement that there is a lack of milk in the West of Ireland.

A lack of what?

Of milk.

In West Donegal.

Our feeling in Leinster is that we are in danger of saturation. I should like to see more and more outlets for milk consumption and I should like to see those outlets supplied as efficiently as possible. This Bill is perhaps rendered particularly necessary by reason of the recent development of the bottling of milk on a very considerable scale. Most people will agree that milk sold in bottles is less liable to contamination than when it is sold loose, but everyone will acknowledge that the process of bottling milk provides opportunities for contamination on a very considerable scale.

That is true.

The premises in which the bottling is carried out, the bottles and everything connected with the bottling process must be clean and it would be better not to have this process carried out at all, if it is not done in a perfectly clean manner. That is why most people will welcome the provisions of this Bill which govern the process of bottling.

I think the Minister has power in this Bill—I should like to see it developed further—to promote a larger consumption of liquid milk. There are provisions in this Bill governing restaurants and other places where milk is sold for consumption. I should like to see those regulations framed in such a way as to encourage people to put up milk in every form that is as palatable as possible to the consumer. I should not like to see any provision in the Bill placing an obstacle in the way of rendering milk more palatable. I should like to make it more palatable for the consumer and in that way to increase consumption. That is a matter that will always have to be kept in mind. We cannot allow dilution of milk, unless the exact quantity of the dilution is specified but at the same time a certain amount of development should take place with a view to putting up milk in the most attractive way to the consumer and ensuring that this nation's relatively low milk consumption be stepped up.

The consumption of milk both by adults and children in this State is altogether too low, having regard to the fact that we are a milk producing country and that everything in regard to our climate and soil is conducive to milk production. If we could step up the consumption of milk and milk products, we might then be able to cut down on some other commodities which we import and that would be of great benefit to our national economy.

A number of Senators have said that we in this country have a particularly good milk supply from the public health point of view. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. There is a very great difference between clean milk and milk which is satisfactory from the point of view of health. The Milk and Dairies Act, 1935, in so far as it went, was an excellent piece of legislation. If it had been fully implemented, there would have been enormous advances made, but I would ask the Minister, when replying, to give us some idea as to what percentage of the milk is pasteurised. I think that should give us a very clear idea of how much healthy and how much unhealthy milk we have.

We have, looking at it purely from a public health point of view, made very poor progress in regard to the quantity of milk which we pasteurise and the eradication of tuberculosis amongst the cattle in this country. Bovine tuberculosis is declining in this country. It is declining not because of the veterinary improvements but because of the successful vaccination by B.C.G. of the children.

We have had to tackle the T.B. problem in this country without getting the real co-operation we should in eradicating one of the greatest sources of T.B., that is, the infected milk. In many other countries, they go even further than pasteurisation. They actually produced sterilised milk. I think, quite frankly, that on account of the strong representation which the agricultural community must have in the Oireachtas, we have not gone far enough at all. We have been much too slow to set a really satisfactory standard in regard to milk from the public health point of view.

I am interested in what Senator ffrench O'Carroll says because this is an aspect of the question which much preoccupies my mind. I sympathis with the anxiety of anybody, particularly a doctor, about the quality of the milk supplied. Upon my word, I think he is a bit pessimistic. I would say that more than 90 per cent. of the milk supply of Dublin is pasteurised.

Of Dublin? I am talking about the country.

I am coming round the mountain. Let me start in Dublin and Dún Laoghaire. That is an interesting thing, too. Half the time I am talking about the whole people fleeing into Dublin and, when I point out that we provide the migrants into the city with a safe milk supply, they say that they do not count and that they are only a minority. Now, I look with a very curious eye at Senator Hickey. When he was speaking, I was constrained to interpolate "Et tu, Brute”. I agree the Cork milk supply left much to be desired, but I do think I am entitled to ask the informed Senators from Cork City: who thrust pasteurised milk upon them—after a fight 40 could join in?

I am prepared to admit that.

And it took me a long hard battle in the course of which I went out of office and came back again before I could get it done. I think the charming interlocutor on my right must consider that there is now available to her in Cork City a pasteurised bottled milk supply sufficient to meet any demands made upon it and I hope the Senators from Cork City will not think me unduly demanding in asking their co-operation to stimulate a demand amongst their neighbours for this excellent commodity which I am now in a position to tell them is there in a quality and quantity sufficient to supply all. When we look at Cork and then at Dublin, we have reason for increasing satisfaction, in that I am able to say to her it is now for the citizens themselves to make the Cork milk supply 100 per cent. pasteurised —that the means to do it are there. I could not have said that two years ago and then I would have felt vulnerable to Senator ffrench O'Carroll's rebuke about it. There is a pasteurised milk supply in Waterford, in Wexford, in Galway and, I think, in Limerick and I think we are not doing too badly.

You are still in the urban areas though.

We are passing into the rural areas. When we are dealing with the sale and supply of liquid milk, we have got to face the fact that in a predominantly agricultural country the pasteurisation of milk must of its nature be mainly an urban operation because everybody in the country has his own milk. I think Deputy Cogan rightly says there are lengths beyond which the Minister for Agriculture should not go. We have a right to inform a farmer, even to stress upon him, his grave obligation to his own family to see that their health is not impaired by the consumption of unsuitable milk, but have I the right to go in and constrain him? I think not. I do not think I have the right to cross the threshold of any family in Ireland and indicate to them how to look after their own children.

I used very strong language in the Seanad in connection with the Cork milk supply years ago, about people who offered unpasteurised tubercular milk to families in Cork, placing the lives of the children in jeopardy. I would use strong language to any parent who was so careless. I think I have a right in the public interest to intervene in Cork and secure that pasteurised milk will be made available, but I doubt if I have that right in every household in Ireland. If Dáil Éireann thrusts that duty on me, I decline it. I do not think any Government has a right to come between a parent and his children. We have a right to exhort them to educate them, to explain and so forth, but we cannot go beyond that.

There are areas in Ireland where the incidence of tuberculosis amongst cattle is high. If we were to examine the percentage of reactors detected, and I think Senator ffrench O'Carroll will agree with me, over 80 per cent. of all reactors never show any sign of clinical tuberculosis and of the remaining 20 per cent. not 10 per cent. have tuberculosis of the udder which would constitute a formidable danger of contaminated milk through tubercle bacilli. Even bearing that in mind, I would remind Senators that in a county like Sligo, where we have the testing facilities, the incidence of tuberculosis is down to about 4 per cent.

I have never asked the Oireachtas to close its eyes to the fact that in some of the dairying counties the incidence is shockingly high, though no higher than in other dairy countries when they first began to eliminate it, but the bulk of that milk is going to the creameries. Of the reactors, 80 per cent. will never show evidence of clinical tuberculosis, and, of the 20 per cent. who will not 10 per cent. will give tubercular milk. It is quite a mistake to equate in their minds the incidence of reactors and the tubercular condition in cows which is calculated to introduce tubercle bacilli contamination into milk.

I know there are people enthusiastic for T.T. milk and grade A milk. I got into trouble for saying this in public before, but I want to say it again with the fullest realisation of my responsibility in this matter, that excellent as T.T. milk may be, excellent as grade A milk may be, in urban surroundings, I would give my child properly pasteurised milk with a very greater sense of security than I would T.T. milk or grade A milk. That is no reflection on those who keep grade A herds and T.T. herds, but the fact is that I can issue a certificate in perfectly good faith to a T.T. herd on 1st January and yet there may be two reactors in that herd on 8th January. The herd is not tested again until 1st July.

I have known cases in which valuable T.T. herds have been certified to be tuberculosis free on the first day of the year and to contain 50 per cent. reactors on 1st July. That is a dramatic and rare occurrence. It is called the breakdown of a herd and the explanation is not fully known, but it has happened. That is no reflection on those who have the cattle and take all the trouble to produce milk, under those conditions, but the fact is that properly pasteurised milk, in whatever condition it comes into the bottling plant, is rendered innocuous by the operation of pasteurisation. The bottling operation is carefully supervised and you are as certain as it is humanly possible to be that when the bottle of milk is put on your threshold it is free from contamination.

What happens to it afterwards is not my business and I am not prepared to pursue it across the threshold of the door. So I would ask Senator ffrench O'Carroll to think again before he accepts the general principle that the milk supply——

Would the Minister answer one question?


Does he think it is fair that we in this House should have taken powers to prevent people from selling meat that was contaminated, or other food that was not up to a healthy standard, and that we should have excluded milk from that legislation?

This is the legislation to prevent it.

I am not referring to this particular legislation. I refer, for example, to the food hygiene legislation.

I was in the rear, coming up with this Bill. Let us keep to milk. This is my bailiwick, and no one walks in my bailiwick unrebuked. I look after milk, and here I am as busy as a bee to ensure, with the help of the Seanad, that the highest criteria will apply to our liquid milk supply. If they are to be applied, I ask the Seanad to help me to arrange it, and I ask the Senator, when he feels constrained to say again that the milk supply in this country is highly unsatisfactory, to pause and ask himself whether that is still true. I do not think it is still true. I think, by and large, that the milk supply in this country now is good, and this Bill closes the remaining gaps which do exist.

I am faced with the fact, however, in respect of which I find myself in agreement with Senator Walsh, that it is not yet possible for me to make these precautionary measures watertight in every area, because there is undoubtedly the problem of milk supply in places like the Rosses or Gweedore. The Senator will remember that I tried to remedy that with the Kerry cow scheme, by introducing the Kerry cow into the Rosses and Gweedore, because I felt that that was a breed from which we might expect a pretty consistent all the year round milk supply. I think other considerations operated to persuade the people there to cross the cows pretty liberally with shorthorn or Aberdeen Angus, and we are up against that problem— that they are largely concerned with the production of a saleable calf, and so over a period the milk quality of the Kerry heifer has tended to be merged in the Aberdeen Angus or Hereford cross which the local people use. If you could get them to cross them with good white shorthorn, as they do in parts of Kerry, the milking capacity of the cattle would be greatly improved. This remains a problem, and until it is resolved, I cannot promise Senator ffrench O'Carroll that the last lacunae in our precautionary measures with regard to the milk supply of rural Ireland can be effectively closed.

I can console Senator Cogan, who wondered whether I discussed this Bill with the Agricultural Consultative Council. I did better; I went even closer to the heart of the matter, and discussed it yesterday with the dairy industry sub-committee, which I understand is representative of all interests here involved.

Senator Burke spoke of compelling the creameries to pasteurise skim milk. This Bill deals with milk for liquid consumption. Therefore, pasteurisation of skim is not strictly relevant. Subject to that, I would say to Senator Burke that, following my customary procedure, I am forbearing from compulsion, and am seeking to persuade, and prepared to give a grant of 50 per cent. of the total cost to any creamery in Ireland that will install machinery to pasteurise skim milk prior to returning it to the farmer. I am obliged to confess that if these methods of inducement do not ultimately achieve our purpose, it is conceivable that I might reluctantly be forced to return to the Oireachtas to seek powers of compulsion; but so high is my confidence in the capacity of the farmers to do their job better than anybody else, given the opportunity, that I prefer as yet to rest on my powers of persuasion and inducement, in the belief that in that way I can get the skim milk supply fully dealt with.

The next Senator about whose observations I have a note is Senator Hickey. I shall confine myself to looking at him and raising one eyebrow. But I think I am entitled to say that the pasteurised milk supply of Cork City compares very favourably with the pasteurised milk supply of Belfast City.

I agree.

Go down and look at the people of Cork as compared with Belfast. I recommend the citizens of Belfast to take a fornight's holiday in Cork now. I might not have done so with such confidence five years ago, but now if they want to go, they will return invigorated to their gloomier surroundings.

I dealt, I think,en passant, with the factors mentioned by Senator Louis Walsh.

Senator Sheehy Skeffington thought that the Bill should be more radical. I like to think that he and I both believe ourselves to be radical liberals, whatever each of us believes the other to be. That is quite another matter. But I think really what his heart yearned for was a codifying measure, that is to say, a measure which would be comprehensive and would contain the law between two covers where it would be easy for all to read. This Bill taken with the existing law is a pretty comprehensive code. I agree that it is not codified, but before you codify, you must amend. What we propose to do is to work this legislation with this amending Act and after a period to determine if all the creaks and awkwardnesses have been overcome, and if they have been, to submit a codifying Bill to the Oireachtas so as to bring this Bill and prior legislation into one compendious Act.

The Senator seemed troubled by the fact that it appeared from this Bill and previous Acts that there were two different standards—one for the production of liquid milk for human consumption, and the other for milk for conversion into creamery butter. There are. That is true. A higher standard is required for a byre in which milk for liquid consumption is to be produced, but that is not to say that the law permits anyone to bring dirty milk to a creamery. On the contrary, my Department's peripatetic inspectors have, as one of their first duties, regular inspection of creameries, and Senators from rural areas, I think, will inform Senator Sheehy Skeffington that it sometimes causes complaint against me that I prosecute farmers for having delivered dirty milk at a creamery or for having delivered milk in a dirty churn to a creamery; and in the event of such being detected, the farmer is prosecuted, and the creamery. Were the creamery to persist in the reception of such milk, its licence would be withdrawn.

But I do not concede that, for a good reason, a higher standard is imposed in respect of liquid milk for human consumption because manufacturing milk for conversion into butter undergoes processing when it reaches the creamery. Butter is manufactured from cream. Cream is extracted from the milk by a process of separation. Therefore, you may reasonably assume that, in the raw material of butter, no gross dirt can remain because the process of separation will discard that with the skimmed milk, even if it were present. That operation having been performed, the separated cream, in case there should be any bacilliary contamination, is pasteurised before being converted into butter. Therefore, the necessity for the higher standard in regard to manufacturing milk is not as urgent because, when the milk comes in for pasteurisation and distribution for liquid consumption, there is no separation.

The Senator will have observed that provision is made in this Bill that, where a creamery is going into the business of pasteurising milk for distribution for liquid consumption, it must follow an entirely different procedure in regard to the milk which it purchases for subsequent pasteurisation and distribution in final form and it must at all times be kept separate from the milk which is to be manufactured into butter. If the creamery has a surplus of the milk which it has taken in for consumption in liquid form it may transfer that surplus to the creamery but if it should have brought in more milk than it actually wishes to convert into butter in any given day to the creamery it may not transfer that to the premises reserved for liquid milk.

I think that covers all the points that have been raised by Senators and, accordingly, I commend this Bill to their favourable consideration.

Question put and agreed to.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

When is it proposed to take the next stage?

Do the Senators want a period?

Does the House want to give it to me now?

We should prefer to wait.

I suggest that the Bill be taken on the next sitting day, not being to-morrow.

Agreed and ordered accordingly.

Before entering on the discussion of No. 7 on the Order Paper, I wonder whether it would be agreeable that we should consider the Question on the Adjournment at 10 o'clock instead of at 9.30 in order that progress can be made with the motion? The same half hour would be available, therefore, for the Question on the Adjournment, but it would begin at 10 o'clock instead of 9.30. It might give an opportunity for people to speak on the motion concerning the railways.

Are we taking the motion now?

Is it assumed that it will be finished by that time?

I am not saying that it will be finished, but it would give half an hour longer for its consideration.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

And in the event of the motion being finished before 10'clock?

I should consider that a very optimistic view but, in such an event, we should then proceed with the Question on the Adjournment.