I am coming to the conclusion that we cannot allow cream gathering stations to call themselves creameries. I am afraid not.
In sub-section (1), (a) line 11, to delete the words " on the premises," and in line 13 to delete the word " comingled."
The idea of this amendment was to ensure making it possible to bring in institutions like Mackamore which collect cream from the farmers. I was not able to make up my mind one way or the other the last day, and I am not absolutely certain on the point even yet. But the more I think of it the more I harden to the idea that the word " creamery " is definite; it has become a trade term and has a certain meaning, and that it would be absolutely dangerous to extend it. If you allow any one institution that collects cream to call itself a creamery you must allow them all to do so. You cannot confine it to Mackamore. If you have power in the Bill to do it the Department of Agriculture will be pressed and all sorts and conditions of reasons will be put forward to allow this and that and the other institution in. If you break the line once, and if you allow a place like Mackamore in, there are hundreds of places of the same kind and they will all become efficient if only for the moment to entitle them to some in. If they are once registered as creameries there is nothing like the same certainty that they will continue to consistently turn out good butter as in the case of the creameries, for the reason that in the creameries you are dealing with one institution where every process is watched, from the moment the milk is received until the butter arrives. With regard to the other institution, you have the institution itself and you have the hundred and one places where the cream has been separated. With regard to these particular institutions, they can get the national brand if they live up to it, and they can send their butter as anything they like provided they do not call " creamery butter." They can get the national brand, and the national brand will get them as good a price as if they called their butter " creamery " that is, if they get the brand and continue to hold it. Hence they have not such a terrible grievance.
If they are allowed to buy cream, will they be factories?
They are factories.
I do not like the idea of concerns that collect cream and make butter in that way being allowed to call themselves creameries. Cream is very sensitive to invasion by bacilli, and cream collected from outlying farms will very often be a day or two late in transit. It is no good to say that that is going to be pasteurised when it comes to the creamery. If you have stale cream, pasteurising is not going to renew it. I think it would be a dangerous thing from the creamery point of view that this kind of institution should be allowed to call itself a creamery.
We had better consider it on report.
It is the most important item on the agenda.
We cannot make up our minds definitely.
May I ask a question? I want to know if the Minister would consider the advisability of inserting a fourth category for this particular type of butter.
Amendment No. 23.
That is the same.
In sub-section (1) (g) to insert after the word " marked " in line 45, the words " in the prescribed manner."
That is being accepted.
In sub-section (1) (j) to delete the words " butter manufactured in " in line 55, and to substitute therefor the words " creamery butter obtained directly from."
That is being accepted.
I move: —
To add to sub-section (1) a new paragraph as follows:—
" All payments for milk shall be made at a price perpound avoirdupois, of the butter fat actually contained in the milk, as ascertained by such apparatus or appliances as are prescribed in the first schedule, or as may be prescribed by special regulation, and all samples of milk taken for this purpose shall be properly preserved and retained for at least fourteen days after they have been first tested by the management for the purpose of ascertaining the percentage of butter fat contained in them as the basis of payments, and the said samples shall be available at any time during the said period of fourteen days for examination by an inspector appointed under the Act."
The intention of this sub-section is to make certain that payments made for milk at creameries are made in an honest manner and in accordance with the actual amount of butter fat contained in the milk. In the majority of creameries, in all well conducted creameries payment is made on the percentage of the butter fat contained in the milk. That is arived at from examination of samples frequently taken from the milk delivery. The samples are placed together in a tube and about twice a month they are examined by the management and the percentage of butter fat is entered up in the record of the supplier of the milk. It is quite possible and it is stated, that in many cases there is grave dishonesty in connection with this. There is no definite check on the manager. He may examine his test tube and the percentage of butter fat shown on that tube may be 3.40, and he may enter it in his register at 3.10, and he may vary it as regards man and man according as the supplier is a favourite or is not. The system also has this effect, that managers in their desire to show that they are paying a higher price than the neighbouring manager are inclined to cut down the percentage and, by making their calculation on a lower percentage than the actual percentage endeavour to show that they are paying a relatively higher price per gallon than the neighbouring creameries, with the idea of inducing the farmers to give them their supplies. It is stated that this is a common occurrence. I do not know about it myself, but I think it very important to prevent that happening. If the sample is retained in the test tube for fourteen days, then when the department inspector comes along within the fourteen days he will test that sample and see that the quantity of fat registered in the tube corresponds with the quantity of fat registered in the supplier's book.
Undoubtedly the right method of payment is according to the fat contents. But I would suggest putting the amendments in a slightly different form and providing that the Minister shall have power to make regulations to give effect to that. Fourteen days may suit or fourteen days may not turn out to be the right period. I will bring up an amendment on Report which will give effect to that in substance, and it will be drafted in the form which may appear to be best.
I am perfectly willing to accept that.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn, the Minister to bring up an amendment on Report.
To add to sub-section (1) a new paragraph as follows:—
" All payments made for milk shall be on the basis of the quantity of butter fat which it contains, as ascertained by such apparatus or appliances as are prescribed in the first schedule or as may be prescribed by regulation."
That is the same thing.
It is a milder form.
To add to sub-section (2), page 13, the words: " Provided that while such licence is current no butter bearing the national mark shall be exported from such premises."
The intention of this amendment is to see that during the time a creamery has a licence to purchase butter from outside sources that creamery shall not be authorised to export any butter bearing the national brand. It is for the protection of the national brand and to provide that no inferior butter could be exported bearing the national brand.
We will accept the principle of that. It is a matter of drafting.
Would not the effect of the sub-section be to enable them to take in New Zealand butter?
They may get in New Zealand butter during a period. But if they get in New Zealand butter they cannot send out butter containing the national brand.