The first business is the election of a Chairman.
Election of a Chairman
The CLERK of the COMMITTEE (Mr. P. O'Toole)
I thought that should have been done when we were appointed. I move Professor O'Sullivan to the Chair.
I have much pleasure in seconding that.
Deputy Professor O’SULLIVAN took the Chair.
Are we going to discuss the Bill as it came before us or as amended?
It is not amended. We are going through the Bill as in Committee of the Dáil. The Bill has passed the Second Reading and we take the place of a Committee of the whole Dáil. The question is: " That Section 1 stand part of the Bill."
I move in line 30, after the word " from " to insert the word " cows." The object of this amendment is to make it quite clear that it is intended that the butter shall be butter made from cows' milk and not a mixture of cows' and goats' milk or any other mixture. I think it stands to reason that that is the intention and that we should make it quite clear.
I have an amendment down which deals with the same matter. Deputy Johnson's amendment will cover it.
If you pass this amendment and there is butter made from cream obtained from goats' milk and cows' milk combined, that butter does not come under the Bill and therefore it can be exported.
My intention is in this amendment to make it quite clear that so far as this Act is concerned, when we use the word " butter " we mean butter made from cows' milk, if there is any prohibtion in the Bill to prevent the exportation of butter which goats' milk is the basis or of which it forms any part that is a prohibition against the exportation of goats' milk butter. But I don't think there is any such prohibtion. The object of the amendment is that no butter made from goats' milk or from a mixture of goats' milk could by any means come under the designation of creamery butter.
Butter made from a mixture of cows' and goats' milk, could under the amendment, be exported and could not be interfered with under this Bill and by mixing a little goats' milk with the cows' milk you could, by passing this amendment, make the Act a dead letter. Is not that a danger?
I don't think so.
This is a very important point and an extremely difficult point. Professor O'Sullivan has put one point in connection with it, that is to say, if you define butter as a product made from cows' milk or cream, then butter made from a mixture of goats' milk and cows' milk does not come within the Act, and you are putting up to a creamery manager a proposition which he will find it impossible to deal with. No creamery manager can say whether cows' and goats' milk has been mixed—he cannot say it on examination of even on analysis. If you accept that definition, and if you rule out goats' milk, you must then put some provision in Section 15 forbidding the creamery manager from accepting goats' milk into the creamery. Otherwise, if you take any consignment of butter, and if the creamery manager can show that some of the cream which went to make that butter was cream from goats' milk you have no action against him for adulterated butter or anything like that. You will have to put some provision in Section 15 which will prevent the creamery manager from accepting goats' milk in the creamery, and if you put in a provision of that kind you are putting a proposition to a creamery manager which he cannot deal with. No creamery manager can say whether the milk that he has received has not some small admixture of goats' milk, and you are really leaving things as they stand. You cannot enforce it. It is quite impossible. I would be willing in view of those difficulties to accept some amendment to Section 32: Sub-section (1) deals with milk delivered at the creamery: " Any person who tenders or supplies any dirty, contaminated, or stale milk or cream, or milk or cream which is contained in a dirty vessel, for use in a creamery or cream separating station, or any place where milk or cream is used for the manufacture of any dairy produce for sale shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be punishable accordingly."
Sub-section (2) deals with the acceptance of the milk in a creamery or factory; and sub-section (3) deals with the offence. If it is thought desirable we could insert there some provision prohibiting any supplier of milk from supplying goats' milk to a creamery under a penalty. But if you put in the prohibition in the definition you must, as I say, follow it up with a prohibition in Section 15. By doing this you are plainly putting on the face of the Bill a provision which simply cannot be administered, and you are asking the creamery manager to do something which he cannot do. The point is a small point, but it is a very important one, and it is an extremely difficult one to get around. I am informed that butter made from goats' milk is quite as good, other things being equal, as butter made from cows' milk, and that there are in some counties possibly small quantities of goats' milk mixed with cows' milk. Very poor people who keep two or three cows and a goat or two mix it a little. I am informed that that does not do any harm and that the butter, other things being equal, is quite as good. The colouring is not quite so rich. That is the only thing. If you think it desirable to rule out goats' milk and say that no butter is to be made from goats' milk do not attempt to do that by definition in Section 2 or by asking the creamery manager in Section 15 to do something that he cannot do. If it is correct that the butter made from the goats' milk is just as good as that made from cows' milk, and that in fact only very small quantities of goats' milk are used for that purpose, I don't think it is sound to do what is suggested. But if you do it, do so by a provision in Section 32 making it a penal offence to deliver goats' milk at a creamery.
Goats' milk is extremely different from cows' milk and is differently affected by air and temperature and may have a deleterious effect. A drop or two of goats' milk in a very large consignment of cows' milk does not make, I think, any difference. Your principal object in this Bill is to get a high class grade of butter exported to England to compete against the foreign butter there, and if on examination of butter about to be exported to England the inspector discovers a flavour which he traces back to an undue proportion of goats' milk, that butter should be stopped or something done like that. The Minister would be able to draw up a regulation which would be a reasonable safeguard.
The Deputy who has just spoken will bear in mind that this is a definition clause. The intention was to define butter as being butter made from cows' milk. I have no special knowledge on this matter. I do not know whether goats' milk is deleterious or not. But I know that Section 15 refers to " the commingled milk supplies of a number of cow-keepers," and that suggested to me that the intention was that the butter was to be made from cows' milk, and therefore I thought that there was need for a closer definition. There would be nothing at all in the Bill which would prevent a creamery being a creamery established for the sale of butter made from goats' milk if there was in any part of the country a sufficient number of goats to make a creamery of that character worth while. I do not press the amendment in view of what the Minister has said, and I think it may be worth while, before we pass the Bill through, that this matter should receive further consideration. We may find, when we come to the later clauses, that some definition is required. With permission, therefore, I will withdraw the amendment.
My amendment is practically the same: After line 32, page 3, to insert the words: " The expression ‘ milk ' means exclusively the milk of cows. The expression, ‘ cream,' means exclusively the cream separated from cows' milk." I am not quite of the same opinion as Deputy Johnson in the matter, and I think we ought to stick to this definition. My opinion is the same as Deputy Beamish's, that goats' milk is harmful. I am not an expert, but that is the information which I have. My information also is that it can be detected. Sometimes it remains in the butter in the form of white globules, which make it distinct from other butter. I think the real difficulty is that it is impossible to detect the goats' milk in the mixture of milk. As we aim at securing the best possible product, I think our regulations should be very stringent, and I think we should try to prevent the use of goats' milk at all in the manufacture of butter.
The difficulty is that with the amendment all butter can be put outside the Act practically by the admixture of a little goats' milk.
I see the Minister's objection, but I do not view it in the same light as he does, because the Minister's objection is based largely on the ground that the managers would take advantage of this proposed clause to get outside the Act. I am rather inclined to think that any reputable manager who wished to preserve the good name of his creamery would be very slow to take advantage of such a clause. And if he did take advantage of it he would so injure his reputation as a manufacturer of butter that he would lost considerably later on. I am not definitely bound to this amendment, but I think it is very important.
It would be very important, but there is the difficulty of trying to manage it and trying to detect it. If you have a small quantity of goats' milk mixed with a large quantity of cows' milk, it would not, as Deputy Beamish says, affect the quality of the butter.
Postpone the question to a little later period, so that we may have time to think over it for a day or two.
It is impossible to prevent goats' milk going to the creamery. We tried to stop it, and we could not do it. If you want the creamery to come under the Act pass that matter over.
I recognise the difficulties, but if there is anything wrong in making butter from cows' milk with a mixture of goats' milk, we ought to try, as far as possible, to remove the defects. The Minister has suggested that we may be able to deal with the matter in Section 32. If so, I think that we should not only have to insert a special sub-section making it a penal offence for a supplier to bring any goats' milk into a creamery, but we should also have to make it an offence for a manager to take goats' milk, because if there was no obligation on the manager to refuse goats' milk there would be no incentive to see that the milk would not be taken. If we added two sub-sections to Section 32 it may meet the case.
I think I may be able to meet all points. If we accept an amendment to Section 32 making it an offence to supply goats' milk to a creamery, I would be willing to accept an amendment in Section 15 making it an offence for a manager knowingly to receive goats' milk. That will meet the point of Deputy Baxter, and it will also enable us to meet the other point which I made, namely, that you will have a mixture of goats' and cows' milk and no manager can detect it, and you cannot possibly hold him amenable. On the other hand, you must draft the Bill in such a way as will prevent a manager coming forward and saying " This is not butter within the meaning of the Act." That is what would happen if you pass the amendment. We must make the Bill watertight. We must not take it for granted that the creamery managers will do this or do that. This Bill is intended to force the creamery managers to do certain things. I am not suggesting that the creamery managers are not as good as the best of us. But we find it necessary to introduce legislation to regulate by law this industry, and we cannot leave it to the good will or discretion of creamery managers. If we accept these two amendments, which I suggest, we will have covered Deputy Baxter's point and we will have put it out of the power of the creamery managers to say " It is not butter at all."
I am agreeable to that suggestion, which meets my idea.
In page 3, line 32, before the word " colouring " to insert the word " innocuous."
The intention of this amendment is to prevent the use of any colouring matter which would be dangerous to health or injurious to the butter. I understand that there are certain colouring matters which are innocuous and for that reason I think this amendment is advisable.
The section, as altered by this amendment would read as follows:
" The word ‘ butter ' means the substance usually known as butter made exclusively from milk or cream or both, with or without salt or other preservative, and with or without the addition of innocuous colouring matter."
I think I see your objection, and perhaps you could meet it in a somewhat similar manner as you met the other objection. By putting in " innocuous colouring matter " it would cease to be butter. That is your objection?
Yes, that is the point.
For that reason I see there is an objection to the change. Perhaps you may meet me by inserting an amendment forbidding the use of innocuous colouring matter.
In Section 9, for instance. That is the suggestion I was going to make. Possibly it would mean consequential amendments in other sections.
I am willing to accept that.
Section 9 says " The butter shall be clean and shall not contain water in excess of 16 per cent." We could add the amendment: " And shall not contain colouring matter other than innocuous colouring matter," or words to that effect.
I am willing to accept that.
In line 35 to delete all words after the word " applied " to the end of line 36.
I am putting down this amendment with the object of getting at a rather important question. It is the use of the term " commingled milk supplies of a number of cow-keepers." The question has arisen owing to the contention of some creameries—I do not know how many—that they should not be debarred from the use of the term " creamery " if they gather cream which has been separated on the farm by hand separators. The matter arises later, but it also arises here by the use of this term " the commingled milk supplies of a number of cow-keepers " in the definition of " creamery business." If we retain this portion of definition we insist that in no case where a farmer separates his own milk and supplies the cream to the creamery for making it into butter will such a creamery be held to be carrying on " a creamery business." The " creamery business " is confined to a business which deals with " the commingled milk supplies of a number of cow-keepers." It raises that question right in the beginning, and I think it is well that it should be discussed here. I am not quite convinced in the matter at all. I have an open mind on it. But I do see the value of giving encouragement to the home-separating of milk, and the making of butter from the home separated cream, first, because of the value of the separated milk; and secondly, because the system keeps in being the idea of a dairy as a butter-producing establishment. The value of the industry is added to in that way. That is the home value of the system. On the other hand I recognise that the conditions in the country generally may be such that exceptions of that kind would not be beneficial to the butter industry. I can imagine a pretty strong argument being made that the conditions in which the butter is separated in the home will not tend to the purity of the cream which has then to be sent to a creamery or to a butter factory, and that consequently the value of the butter may decline somewhat. But I should like the matter to be discussed at this stage, because it is an important one, and has been raised by one or two creameries, and because I think it would probably affect the course of the development of the butter-making industry in the country. I think it will be generally recognised that there has been a very widespread protest, conscious or sub-conscious, against the creamery method as being a method that has not been wholly beneficial. It may have been beneficial from the purely money-making standpoint, but it has not been wholly beneficial to the country. That is an opinion that is very widely held. It may be a prejudice. I am not sure that it is merely a prejudice. It is alleged that it has meant a great reduction in the consumption of milk amongst the agricultural community. And if the whole tendency of the butter industry is to centralise the whole of the milk supplies and to do that by the separating of the milk in the creamery, then the objection that is alleged against the creamery system will increase. If, on the other hand, the method of home separation and the making of butter from home separated cream were allowed to continue, even if it were not encouraged, we may see a development on slightly different lines—on lines which, I think, have been common in new countries where, I admit, the conditions are probably different You would thus prevent a danger that would otherwise possibly arise in this country. But my particular desire is that the matter should be discussed at this stage from the point of view of what course the dairy industry is to take in the country. If we are to pass the Bill as it stands, it will inevitably mean that we fix the course of the development in favour of a complete creamery system, under which all the milk will go to the creamery or factory for separation—I will not use the word " factory." because that word has a special meaning. The question is whether the milk will go to the creamery for separation, or whether we shall allow or, perhaps, even encourage, development in the other direction, and encourage dairy farmers to build dairies which will be quite capable of keeping milk in proper order, so that it may be separated at the home, and the cream sent for butter-making. The proper place, I suggest, to raise the matter is at the beginning, and I hope there will be a fairly full discussion.
I should like to support Deputy Johnson in a way——
Amendments 5, 6 and 7 are on the same topic.
There would be great danger from the adoption of the amendment, unless very stringent regulations were made. I would support the amendment for this reason, that there are places in the country where you would not get a sufficient number of cow owners to run a creamery on ordinary lines. In such cases, let the cream be delivered at the creamery for the purpose of being manufactured into butter. But a regulation should be made that any creamery that would take in gathered cream should at least take in fifty percent of new milk to be separated there for the purpose of butter making, and that both should be pasteurised, so that the butter produced would be first standard butter. There is another reason why I should like to support the amendment, and it is this: so far as the farmers in the dairy districts are concerned, their experience for a considerable number of years has led them to the conclusion that they can rear better stores from the milk separated at home than they can rear from the separated milk that they get at the creamery, and their experience also is that the animals fed on the creamery separated milk that they get at the creamery, and their experience also is that the animals fed on the creamery separated milk are liable to diseases, such, for instance, as contagious abortion. The passing of Deputy Johnson's amendment or of my amendment would increase the number of cows in the country, because there are districts where the number of cows within a radius of ten square miles would hardly supply a creamery. But, if the cream gathering system was allowed, you could have a creamery working in these districts, because the cost of carrying the cream to the creamery, as compared with the cost of carrying the milk to it, would be very small. There should, however, be very strict regulations dealing with the matter, because, otherwise, in the county of Limerick, for instance, you would have a number of farmers going back to the hand separators. The reason for this is that there is a big amount of labour involved in delivering the milk once a day, as compared with the system of separating the milk at home and delivering the cream. I would have Deputy Johnson's amendment apply only to districts where the number of cows in a certain area would not support the ordinary type of creamery.
This question of the comparative nutritive value of separated milk and skim milk was defined over twenty years ago by the celebrated physiologist, Dr. Panum, who clearly expressed his view in this way, that the nutritive value of separated milk was expressed by eleven pieces of bread and butter and one piece of dry bread, while the nutritive value of skim milk was represented by twelve pieces of bread and butter. I quite understand that Deputy Johnson's suggestion in this matter is a Labour suggestion and nothing else.
Not at all.
To the extent of men working at home.
I had not the slightest thought of it for a moment.
I accept that: If the milk is to be separated in the home there would be great danger of dangerous ferments arising in the cream, and these dangers would be infinitely greater than any advantages that might arise from the system of having separators at home, and they would brand, if we accepted this amendment, a quantity of inferior butter with the national brand. I would venture strongly to recommend that the milk must be sent to the creamery to be treated.
I am in favour of the creamery system, as against the system of separating the cream from the milk at home. But I think that in this Bill we must keep before our minds the fact that there are thousands and thousands of our very biggest farmers in the country to-day who are not supplying their milk to the creameries at all, and that there are very extensive areas of the country where there are no co-operative creameries. I think it would be a mistake, in dealing with this Bill, to be all out and out in favour of the creamery method and no other, and to exclude the people who under the present conditions are separating their cream at the farms. And, if this is done, the result will be that in very large areas of the country, particularly in Cork, which Deputy Beamish knows, and in Wexford, and in very many other areas, no matter how careful the farmers may be in the separation of their cream and in the manufacture of their butter, there will be absolutely no possibility of their coming in and being in a position to use the brand, as this Bill stands at the moment; and I do not think that that is an attitude that we ought to take up.
It is incorrect to say that they may not use the brand. They may use the brand, but they may not use the term " creamery butter."
That is what I have said. Deputy Beamish uses the argument that the conditions in the home will not be favourable to separating the milk and giving us cream from which it will be possible to make butter that will come up to the standard, because the conditions of the home dairy, perhaps, and all that, may not be up to the standard of cleanliness, and may, in other ways, fall short of the standard. But, if a farmer is a supplier of milk to the creamery, that means that his premises will, under this Bill, be liable to be inspected, and it will be possible for the Inspector to go to his farm and to see that the surroundings there are as they ought to be; and if his milk, coming in, is not up to the standard of cleanliness and so on, the inspector will, of necessity, have to go to his farm and inspect the premises. If we take the case of the man who is separating his cream at the farm and who is sending it to a centre to have it manufactured into butter, the same conditions will prevail for him; and if a man sends in to a cream collecting station cream that is not clean, or in which there may be bacteriï¿½ which should not be there, or if he sends in cream that is not satisfactory for any other reason, that means that his premises and place will be subject to inspection, just the same as those of the milk supplier who sends his whole milk into the creamery. That would get over the difficulty. I do not think that we should shut out from the definition section of this Bill many thousands of our farmers who are to-day making butter of a standard in very many cases as good as creamery butter, and who yet would not be entitled to claim because they were not permitted to use the word " creamery " that their butter was up to the standard of the butter of the creameries. I am altogether in favour of the better system, but we should take the conditions in the country that I have indicated into account, and I think Deputy Johnson's amendment is worthy of consideration.
I thought this matter would be discussed under Sections 15 and 16. The matter that Deputy Johnson raises is very important, but I think it would have been wiser to have left it over until we came to discuss it under Sections 15 and 16. Deputy Baxter has raised a very important point in connection with the matter. You have got to recollect that in the King's County, Louth or Carlow, you have no creameries; in Meath and Westmeath, which are grazing counties, you have none; there are only a few in Clare; there is none in Mayo; there are four or five in Wexford, and there is none in the Queen's County. The people in these places have hand separators. Some of you have received a document from the Mackamore Society. I knew all the facts before I got that document. All that is in it is correct. They tried an ordinary creamery business, but it was a failure, because they could not get sufficient milk to carry on. I know of a place where they were able to get milk from outside and to get cream from hand separators to start a creamery. A certain percentage of new milk is added to the cream for pasteurising. Our friend, Mr. Egan, should be an authority as regards the King's County. They tried it there, and it was a failure, because there was not sufficient milk within a certain radius to keep the creameries going; with the result that hand separators had to come into play. A number of people went out of the dairy industry, and the same thing will occur in other places, if you do not give them facilities. In Tipperary and Limerick the situation is quite different. We shall have to take steps to see that those people who use hand separators are catered for, and that their cream will be collected and pasteurised in the creamery. If that is not done, numbers of those people will give up their dairy cattle. Numbers have had to give them up because there was not a creamery in their immediate neighbourhood owing to the want of a sufficiency of milk. As regards the use of the words " comingled milk." if you had a farmer milking one hundred cows—I have before my mind the case of a man who has one hundred and fifty cows, Tom Moloney, of Thomastown—his milk, according to the Act, is not " comingled milk." because it is from his own herd——
It is really the definition only that we are discussing, not as to whether the butter can be made and exported, but whether the term " creamery business " can be applied to a particular kind.
The discussion went away from that.
The discussion is whether you could apply the term " creamery business " to that particular kind.
We all understand what " creamery " means. It means a factory for the production of butter from collected milk. What is asked for here by the last speaker is this: that we are to produce butter in an establishment which is not a true creamery. A creamery means a place where you receive the whole milk and separate it, and where you can deal with all the possible difficulties that you have to contend with in the making of butter. Humbugging the merchant will not do. If we are going to have creamery butter, let us have creamery butter, and if we are going to have factory butter, let us have factory butter; but do not let us pretend that the one is the other.
I disagree with Deputy Beamish's definition of " creamery." The word " creamery " is applied to factories where the cream is collected, as well as where the milk is collected, and made into butter. The term is much wider than its accepted use in this country.
In Denmark the principal part of the collected cream is separated at a creamery. It is not separated in the farmers' houses, where difficulties as regards cleanliness would have to be encountered, but it is separated in a branch of the main creamery that would come under the term " creamery."
I think the explanation does not make much difference. I mean the definition does not make much difference. My idea is that the whole trend of butter production in Ireland depends on how we frame this definition. We have to take the conditions in the country as they are, and we have to take into account the facts stated here, that there are places where the ordinary creameries cannot be maintained as the supply of milk is insufficient. In the absence of them, I maintain that the next best thing is to have a creamery where the collected cream is manufactured into butter. As the Act stands at present, persons manufacturing butter in such places cannot use the term " creamery " and you put them into the category of the factory. That is not fair. I believe that butter may be made in these places equal to the butter manufactured in the ordinary creamery. As far as indications go, creameries have been established in this country almost to the full extent to which they can be established here. As far as I can see, the idea should be to get away from the system of manufacturing butter on the farm, because it is generally known to be very unsatisfactory. You will have one farmer making first-class butter, and this will be mixed into a lump of butter of an inferior kind, made by another farmer. If you prevent those people who send their cream to a cream gathering station to be manufactured into butter from using the word " creamery," you will be putting their butter into the category of factory butter and therefore preventing them from getting the highest possible price. I think that, with proper regulations—and there will have to be very stringent regulations—it would be possible to accept these establishments in the list of creameries.
The term " creamery business " is defined here. It has been assumed that the national brand will only be available for butter made in creameries. That appears not to be so; and the question really arises what value is to be obtained from the use of the word " creamery " as distinguished from the use of any national brand which may be set up. In the instance that I had brought to my notice, where a creamery for the greater part manufactures its butter from whole milk, but also collects cream in a certain area, if this Bill passed in its present form butter made in such a place will be no longer allowed to be called creamery butter. But that would not preclude it from using the national brand if we were to get a national brand.
That is so.
So that the danger to such establishments is not so great as has been suggested, and it will really come to a question whether the term " creamery " has a greater value as a selling trade mark than the national brand may have. Creamery butter has obtained, whether wisely or unwisely, a certain reputation in the British markets and the tendency has been towards making butter by the creamery system, and I think we are right in considering afresh, as though we were coming to it new, having all the past history and the present facts before us, the question whether we should take a course which would lead to the adoption of the creamery method of separating the whole milk in a central station or an auxiliary as the universal system. I am very doubtful whether from any other point of view than the financial one that is the wisest course to adopt. On this question I think I may call attention to the First Schedule, Part I., of the Bill, which raises the possibility that the cream may not be separated on the premises. The schedule provides that there shall be " a high or low pressure boiler to generate steam for
(a) heating sufficiently the milk received at the premises so as to ensure the proper separation of the cream, if cream is separated from the milk at the premises."
There we have at least the possibility contemplated, that the cream will not be separated at the premises; and it seems to me to be very well worthy of consideration whether places which do take in cream from suppliers should be prohibited henceforward from using the term " creamery " in connection with their business.
With the establishment of the national brand we have also the regulation that you must export 56 lbs. of butter in order that you may be entitled to use the brand. Now, there are very many of our farmers to-day separating their cream on the farm who are not able to export 56 lbs. of butter in the week, though they may be in a position to make butter equal to the butter made in the best creamery. Where there are a number of fairly large farmers of this class the effect of this Bill on them will inevitably be that, though each one alone may not be able to apply for the brand, they may co-operate in order to be entitled to claim the use of it. If these people are only able to secure for their butter the term " factory butter," and if, at the same time, they are able to turn out a sample of butter that is good enough to use the national brand, will not that have a peculiar effect on our creameries? Some of our creameries will be using the national brand while, at the same time, you will have other butter turned out, to which the term " creamery " will not be applied, but which will be using the national brand. Will not that detract from the reputation of our creameries, and will it not be injurious to our creameries, because it will cause some of our consumers across the water to say that establishments other than creameries are able to secure a standard of butter as good as creamery butter, but to which the term " creamery " is not applied? The reputation of our creameries would suffer from that. And I think it would really be better that the regulations should be such that where you have a factory or a station where butter will be manufactured from cream separated on the farm, such places should be brought within the category of, and allowed to use the term, " creamery business." It would be better to do that than to leave them outside, though they are producing an article, perhaps as good, and better perhaps in some cases, than the butter that would be manufactured in the creamery. Many of our farmers may have to give up dairying after the passing of this Bill, and the only thing we can do will be to establish central stations and manufacture there butter from cream separated on the farm.
With regard to cream taken from cream separating stations, that cream is not separated on the premises where it is made into butter. The wording is " if cream is separated from the milk at the premises." It is just possible to take it in this way that you would have a number of cream separating stations, and possibly a central station where all the butter would have to be made. That does not cover that. This point that has been raised now is an extremely important and difficult point. I was anxious myself to hear it discussed here in full, because, frankly, I have not been able to satisfy myself as to the course that we should take in this matter. On the one hand, I do see the objection to stereotyping the future methods of butter production; and, on the other hand, I see the great danger of interfering with a term that has become well-known and that is of great value in the trade—the term " creamery butter." These are the two sides to the question. We have to weigh them and see whether any advantages that we may gain by making concessions will be more than outweighed by disadvantages on the other hand. The point is whether institutions that make butter from cream which is not separated in the prescribed manner should be called creameries. That is the whole point. As Mr. Johnson pointed out, such places are not under such a tremendous disadvantage as some members of the Committee seem to think. An institution that collects cream and makes it into butter need not call itself a factory; it need not call itself anything in particular. The Mackamore establishment makes butter as " Mackamore Butter " and could get the national brand. If it was selling butter without the word " creamery," but with the national brand, it would be getting all the advantages that it would be entitled to get. It would get as good a price as it would get if it used the word " creamery " on the box. I am making that point to show that we are not leaving in the air an institution which is not a creamery and which is not exactly a butter factory in the sense of collecting butter and remaking it. They can make their own butter in their own way, and they can make it up to a standard to enable them to get the national brand, and they can sell it without saying that it is factory butter; and doing that, and with the national brand they will get a good price for it. I merely say that to point out that this particular class of institution is not being absolutely left out.
Does not Part III. of the Bill require that they be registered as creameries, or cream separating stations, or manufacturing exporters, or non-manufacturing exporters; and will not the fact that they are registered as one of these classes compel them to fall under that class?
For legal purposes they will be registered according to the process they adopt, but they will be selling their butter only as " Mackamore Butter " and with the national brand. And the customer in England is not going to look up the files to see whether it is registered as a factory or a creamery, but he will know that the word " creamery " is not on the package. In that way this sort of institution is not so badly hit as people think. Then, again, if you allow a place like Mackamore—I am taking that as an example, a place that sends out for cream and takes it in, and that gets it fairly fresh and that gets it every day—if you allow such an institution to call itself a creamery, why not allow the ordinary butter factory that gets the national brand call itself a creamery? If the term is to be defined by the quality of the butter that they turn out purely and simply, then the factories would come in. There are butter factories turning out butter which is as good as creamery butter and gets as high a price in the English market as creamery butter. If the butter factories set about improving themselves they could improve themselves out of recognition. If a butter factory was set up in the district where they had first-class farmers, where they made their butter under the best possible conditions, and where it was reworked under the best possible conditions at the factory and sold in England as choice butter, realising the price of choice butter, I do not see that that would make the slightest difference to the creameries or that it would do any harm to them. I do not see how it would. Are you going to allow an institution of that kind to call itself a creamery even though it takes in butter and reworks it, because it turns out a very first-class butter? If you do you are going to upset the whole trade. If you do that you will not fall into the other mistake of stereotyping the future butter trade, but you will do the exact opposite—you will upset the whole trade. It is no use saying that after all we can inspect the farmer's premises, his dairy machines, his cans, that we can see to it that he delivers his cream twice a week or perhaps delivers it once a day. We cannot do that. In order to do that we would want a staff of inspectors far in excess of the present staff. It was because we could not possibly by inspection alone make the necessary changes in the creamery business and in the butter trade in Ireland that we introduced this Bill. On the face of it, it is good enough to say that if you have sufficient inspectors you can make every one do the right thing—keep the proper machinery in their own dairies, keep their cans clean, deliver their milk regularly. You can do that in theory, but you cannot do it in practice with all the inspectors in the world; and you must supplement inspection by a proper system of organisation. And it was for that reason that we got away from the system of separating milk at home and tried to insist that the cream should be separated centrally in a large institution—an institution supported by a number of people who could afford to have proper equipment, who could afford to pay a proper manager, and to do the hundred and one things that the individual in his own dairy could not afford to do.
You have to supplement inspection by proper organisation; and it was for this reason we got away from the system of every person doing his business at home, doing it well, badly, or indifferently, the people who did their business well suffering because their neighbours did it badly, and that we tried to centralise butter-making in institutions of this sort. In the creamery you have a great many guarantees that things will be done well; and that is the whole point of view of the Bill. You have the guarantee that the equipment will be up to a certain standard; you have the guarantee that it is easy to inspect it; you have the guarantee that the creamery manager will have certain qualifications, and you have the guarantee that the butter-makers will have certain qualifications. You have all these guarantees in the creamery; you cannot have them in the house of a private individual. One man may run his place so far as butter-making is concerned as well as a creamery, but two or three others will not; and that fact spoils the system. Our object undoubtedly is to get away from individualism in butter-making and to centralise it, not to a greater extent perhaps than it now is but to a greater extent than it used to be.
There is a difference between butter-making and separating cream from milk.
I am coming back to the case of Mackamore. Suppose it has this equipment, has a first-class manager, is easily inspected, it gets its cream, say, from a couple of hundred farmers, cream which is separated in a hundred different separators, so that things are not really well done until they receive the cream—what are the chances of butter becoming infected with bacteria under circumstances such as these as compared with the case of an ordinary creamery? Undoubtedly the chances are far greater, and undoubtedly no amount of inspection will get over the obvious difficulties of securing that so many people are going to do things not only well but according to a common standard. The aim of this Bill is to standardise the production of butter. Danish butter is only exported in one form—Danish butter, and everyone who buys it knows what he is getting. It may not score 98 marks but it will score 92 every time. We have creameries in Ireland making butter better than any Danish butter, but we have others which are not, and the good suffer from the worse. We have cause for being extremely careful about our definition of the term " creamery."
Again, I do not see the terrible difficulties in the way of establishing cream separating stations even in districts where you have not a tremendous number of cow-keepers in one area. I am not at all quite clear why Mackamore is not able to support three or four small cream separating stations which would come under this Bill. If you establish a creamery in a district and if you have a radius of ten or twelve miles, or fifteen miles, in order to get sufficient milk to run the show well, there is another alternative—ask each farmer to take his milk to a cream separating station. It will only take about £300 to provide a separator and boiler for a cream separating station.
And there is the house to be provided.
As regards pasteurising, we could argue the question as to whether every creamery should pasteurise its cream. Our intention was that we would only make pasteurisation compulsory where we are giving the creamery the national brand. I do not think anyone will suggest that every creamery must pasteurise its cream. That has not been suggested up to the present. One of those milk separating stations would bring Mackamore or any other similar place within the Bill and entitle it to use the term " creamery butter." These are the reasons against admitting Mackamore or any other institutions like it. I do see that if we pass this Bill as it stands, whatever the developments in the future may be—and you can never foresee developments in trade—we cannot then make the slightest modification in favour of any creamery. I see that. At the same time I admit frankly that I am afraid to alter that definition. I should like to hear what the real opinion of members coming from the south, and who are very closely in touch with the creamery business, is on this question, and I should like to know what the views of those coming from creamery districts, as a whole, are as to changing the definition and allowing institutions which we do not regard as creameries at the present time to call themselves creameries. I am not speaking so much of creameries as of the farmers who supply them. I should be inclined to leave this question to the committee. If I have a leaning any way it is against accepting any of these three amendments, while at the same time I do say that we are definitely stereotyping the methods of producing creamery butter in this country while that Bill remains law.
We are really discussing these three amendments together because they are largely allied. But if you take amendment No. 4, that is, Mr. Johnson's, that would apply the term " creamery business " to the business of an ordinary farmer who separates his milk on the farm and makes it into butter.
It would, under the definition.
I am speaking now of amendment No. 4. We have discussed the three amendments because they are largely allied.
The words " mechanically applied " would knock that out.
They would not, if you have the hand separator at home.
The hand separator would not be mechanically applied.
It would, by centrifugal force.
I wish to bear out what the Minister has suggested with regard to this matter. I notice that the Deputy on my right said it was going to deteriorate the creamery. Why then come under the ï¿½gis of the creamery? Why come under the wing of the creamery. If the creameries are going to be deteriorated let them be deteriorated let them be deteriorated. Why come under their wing then? It is not a clear argument. Another matter is this: whether it is creamery butter or whether it is factory butter or whether it is the butter made by any individual in this room, if it is good butter and comes under the brand, and the factors in England find that it is better than the creamery butter they will give you the best price. If butter which is not creamery butter is going to come under the name of creamery butter it will deteriorate the reputation of your creamery butter, and will eventually lower the price obtained for that butter. Let us be straightforward in the matter. If I make 20 lbs. of butter in a day and if that butter is better than anybody else's butter I will receive the highest possible price for it if I am not a fool when I am selling it. Let us not introduce a false flag.
I speak with diffidence. I have not much knowledge of the creameries. But there is one thing that does occur to me, and that is the suggestion which I gather from both Deputy Baxter and Deputy Heffernan, that almost any class of butter coming under certain conditions would be entitled to be called creamery butter.
We do not mean that.
I think Deputy Baxter did state that perhaps farmers who would co-operate would have the right to have their butter called creamery butter. The way I look upon that as a general principle is this: There has been a big creamery butter trade built up in Ireland, and purely from the ordinary commercial point of view I think it would be an exceedingly dangerous thing to try and get, under the wing of creamery butter, butter which has not, in fact, been subjected to the same care and supervision and to the stringent method of manufacture as the butter made in the creamery; and consequently I think that anything at all which would tend to rope in an undesirable class of butter under the head of creamery butter would be bad for the industry as a whole.
The Minister was anxious to get information from some of those who come from the creamery counties. Although I do not profess to have a close knowledge of the subject, still I have the knowledge derived from seeing the butter manufactured under the old crude system of skimming the milk, the method of the hand separator, and the manufacture of the butter in the creamery to which the milk is sent. The Minister wants to know what the people from these counties and the creamery people think about the matter. I think they would be opposed to including those cream collecting stations, or whatever you call them. But they are opposed to it largely from a selfish point of view, because they think that it would possibly injure themselves slightly, and they are not willing to take any chance like that. But as regards that, I think that the business in the whole country is so important that it overcasts any opposition which they may have. The Minister says that as a matter of fact in actual practice the butter made from the Mackamore institution would be accepted as " Mackamore Butter " and regarded as first class if it was first class.
With the national brand.
Well, as a matter of fact, it is not the brand they are looking to, but the use of the term " creamery."
I am only stating what I said.
My opinion is this, that all butter will be divided into three categories—creamery, factory and non-manufacturing exporters' butter; and Mackamore will be included in the factory class. The Minister said that if we include in the term " creamery " an institution like Mackamore, there is no reason why we should not include factories which do make good butter, in certain cases. It is only in very rare cases that the factories do turn out first-class butter; and it will be only in very, very rare cases that they will be able to get the brand. And it will be only in a very, very rare case that the farmer will be able to get the brand; it will be almost impossible in actual practice for him to get it. In the case of those cream collecting stations the cream will be pasteurised. The cream that is used to make butter for the factories is not pasteurised. The collected cream will be pasteurised, and on that pasteurisation depends a great deal. The cream that the farmers bring into the cream gathering station will be there separated and pasteurised before making it into butter. That is taken for granted.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULUTRE
It is not in the Bill.
It may be introduced to apply to cases that aim at getting the brand. There are amendments which aim at pasteurisation.
What is the use of pasteurising stale cream?
The cream is not necessarily stale.
But suppose it was?
If you collect your cream every two days it will not be stale and it will be pasteurised. It is not so much on the cleanliness on the farm that the keeping quality depends; it depends largely upon the pasteurisation. I maintain that the comparison between the factory butter and the possible product of these cream gathering stations does not stand. The Minister says that the idea of the Bill is to get away from individualism. The idea of these amendments is to get away from individualism, to get away from the manufacture of butter on the farms and get to the manufacture of butter in those cream gathering stations and creameries and thereby standardise the product. You cannot standardise farm butter. You will have a farmer making first-class butter this week, and next week it will not be good.
One of the amendments. No. 4, Deputy Johnson's, does contemplate individualism of the strongest type. I think you mean really amendment No. 6.
I am dealing particularly with Nos. 6 and 7. The Minister suggested that they might establish cream separating stations and that that would mean getting over the difficulty. I think that is hardly quite correct. The Minister underestimates the expense of establishing a cream separating station. I am sure that it would be a great deal more than £300. You will have to have an establishment of some kind. I think you could not do it less than £700 or £800. There is another difficulty: you must have a certain minimum in a cream separating station; there is a clearly definite minimum supply required; and unless you keep up that supply you cannot establish the station. I think it is not a reasonable alternative. I think that very careful governance of the system by regulation should be aimed at, and I think there ought to be a regulation that the cream should be pasteurised even though the butter does not obtain the national brand. That could be done by another amendment.
I said at the beginning that I was not very convinced on this matter; and I put the amendment down without consultation with anybody to ensure that the matter would be discussed. I do not know that I am very much clearer now than I was at the beginning. But I am clear on this point, that my amendment is not the best of these three amendments. I should prefer Deputy Hogan's amendment to my amendment and to have the matter discussed on amendment No. 6, and I would withdraw my amendments Nos. 4 and 5.
We have discussed also amendments 6 and 7, as far as I can see.
I beg to move:
After the word " cow-keepers," page 3, line 36, to add the words: " or the business of manufacturing butter from cream which has been separated by means of centrifugal force at the place of production and delivered to the place of manufacture in accordance with regulations to be made by the Minister."
There is only one point I wish to make I believe the effect of allowing butter made from gathered cream to be recognised as creamery butter under very stringent regulations would be to increase the number of cows in the country.
Could we defer this amendment?
We shall have to withdraw it and bring it on on and bring it on the Report Stage or else go on with it now.
I do not think the members of the committee are convinced either way. Some decidedly are, but I think there are still some arguments to be adduced for and against. If we were to put it to a vote now, and if it were defeated, it could not be brought up again on Report; but if it is withdrawn with a view of bringing it up again on Report in the Dáil no harm will be done by withdrawing it, unless Deputies are quite sure of carrying it. I suggest that it be withdrawn with the understanding that it be brought up on Report.
With regard to my amendment:—
In page 3, lines 36 and 43, after the word " cow-keepers " in each case to add the following proviso: " Provided, however, that where exceptional circumstances shall in the discretion of the Minister justify the admission to registration of a creamery which cannot fully comply with these conditions, he shall have authority to admit it by special regulation."
If it would be possible to get outside the Standing Orders I should prefer this to be brought up again in committee.
We cannot get outside the Standing Orders.
I move amendment, No. 8:—
In page 4, after line 21, to add the following words : " The expression ‘ pasteurised cream ' means cream practically free from all germ life and showing traces only of their presence, there being no evidence of bacillus coli in a l.c.c. sample and germs of putrefaction being absent.
That is a definition of pasteurisation. It is a technical definition.
It is to be free from all germ life?
The germs of putrefaction may be present if it is only practically free.
There are other germs.
I would suggest that we accept the amendment of Deputy Egan, No. 38:—
(1) The Minister may by order make regulations requiring that all or any premises registered in the register of creameries or all or any premises registered in the register of cream separating stations, or all or any premises registered in either of those registers shall be equipped with plant for pasteurising milk or cream or both milk and cream, and may by such regulations prescribe the nature, type, and construction of such plant, and the mode and manner in all respects of pasteurising milk and cream.
By regulation you can fix the mode and manner of pasteurisation.
In line 21, page 4, to add at the end of the section the following words: " the word ‘ prescribed ' means prescribed by regulations made under this Act."
It is purely a verbal amendment.
I accept that.
There is one question raised in the section. They are very anxious to know what the standard of the qualification of the inspector authorised by the Minister is to be. We are all perfectly happy while we have Mr. Hogan, but we may have a terrible man at the head of affairs, and perhaps the Minister will assist us in some way in calming the troubled waters.
What is the point?
The qualification of the inspector?
There are no qualifications mentioned in the Bill at the present moment. Inspectors have to do the course of the College of Science and to get the examination, but the system and the course may be changed in the future. The present intention is that the inspector must at least qualify as the inspectors have done during last year and the year before. Possibly it is a matter for discussion whether a creamery manager who has had a first class experience and who is a first class man would not, after passing a special examination, be entitled to be called an inspector. These are matters for discussion afterwards. It will be the object to keep the qualifications as high as possible.
A graduate of the College of Science or a creamery manager who would have done his course in Glasnevin and have had a number of years' experience as a creamery manager? It is not the intention that the inspector should be a young man just after getting out of the College of Science and without any creamery experience?
It is in the discretion of the Minister.
It would be absolutely absurd to appoint a young man who had walked out of school, and who had no knowledge of a creamery. It would be absurd to appoint him as an inspector to look after the working of a creamery.