SECTION 38.

(1) The Minister may by order make regulations in regard to any matter or thing referred to in this Act as prescribed or as being or to be prescribed, but no such regulation shall be made in relation to the assessment or collection of fees without the consent of the Minister for Finance.
(2) Any regulations made by the Minister under this Act may relate to several matters in respect of which the power to make regulations is conferred by different sections of this Act.

On behalf of Deputy Egan, I beg to move:—

To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

" Regulations made by the Minister under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after they are made, and if a resolution is passed by either such House within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat annulling such regulations, such regulations shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under such regulations."

That is common form. The amendment is accepted.

Amendment agreed to.

There is a difficulty in this kind of a regulation which one might well take this opportunity to mention. A resolution may be passed by either House, but, supposing those in charge of the arrangement of business do not give an opportunity for such a resolution to be discussed, where are we? It seems to me very well worthy of consideration. I think mentioned before that, before regulations come into operation, there should be a positive resolution approving of them, rather than waiting for the initiative of some individual member of the Dáil to disapprove. If there were that positive resolution required, it would be incumbent on the Minister responsible to find a place in the course of the Dáil business for such a resolution to be brought on to the Order Paper.

I would like to know from the Minister if it means that such regulations can come into operation immediately upon having been made.

I had an amendment drafted which I thought was included in the ones I handed in. The amendment was to this affect: " Any regulation made under this Act shall be laid on the Table of the House for twenty-one days before it comes into operation." I think it is only fair that those who are affected by such regulations should have some notice as to what the regulations are going to be, that they should not come, more or less, instantaneously into operation before the interests affected are cognisant of how they are likely to be affected by them. Some period should be given in which they are to be considered. If it is found they are likely to affect seriously an interest concerned, it would be time for proposing such a resolution annulling them, as indicated in this amendment.

They will quite probably get three or four months' notice in most of the regulations. It would be quite impossible however, to hold up every regulation for twenty-one days. They may become a terrible nuisance. Experience may show us in regard to some simple regulations that it is necessary to bring them into operation quickly. On the other hand, I suppose there will be a couple of hundred regulations under this Bill—perhaps a thousand. Having to put down a resolution in respect of every one of them would become cumbrous. The opposition, I am sure, would do their duty and watch the important regulations. It will be their responsibility to see that no regulation that is actually vital slips through. I think that is the right way to do it, as a general principle. The other alternative is for the Minister to put down a resolution in regard to every single little regulation, and a great part of the time of the House would be taken up over those resolutions.

Would it mean twenty-one ordinary days?

Twenty-one sitting days.

Amendment 55 put and agreed to.

So far as the next amendment is concerned, there is another amendment in the name of Deputy Heffernan in the White Paper. I suggest that the best place to take this question of the General Council is where he has the other amendment in, not here on the question of General Regulations. That is, before the First Schedule at the end of Section 41 to discuss the whole question of the setting up of the General Council. On the question then of the General Council, as they are very distinct, we can take amendment 57, by Deputy Milroy, and then we can discuss Deputy Heffernan's amendment.

I would suggest in regard to that, that my amendment, being first on the list, I should have the privilege of proposing it first.

I was rather thinking if the Committee accepted your amendment how we could get Deputy Milroy's amendment in then.

Would you enlarge the discussion and discuss the whole thing?

On your amendment the question of the Council will be discussed.

Could that not be discussed on Deputy Heffernan's amendment?

By agreement it certainly could. It is really a question of the convenience of the Committee.

I suggest if the larger and more dttailed amendment is discussed first we may probably arrive at a better frame of mind. It may turn out that there is general agreement regarding the principle, without agreement in regard to details, and that it will avoid the necessity for re-discussion later.

That is really behind my suggestion. Deputy Milroy's amendment will mean a discussion in close detail of the Council, whereas mine will deal with the general principles.

If there is not a satisfactory discussion on Deputy Milroy's amendment, you will get it on your own amendment, which can be moved afterwards.

Question—" That Section 38, as amended, stand part of the Bill "—put and agreed to.
Question—" That Section 39 stand part of the Bill "—put and agreed to.
Question—" That Section 40 stand part of the Bill "—put and agreed to.
Question—" That Section 41 stand part of the Bill "—put and agreed to.
FIRST SCHEDULE.

I move amendment 57 :—

To insert before the First Schedule a new section as follows:—

NATIONAL DAIRY COUNCIL.

" 42. (1) Before any part of this Act shall come into operation, there shall be established by the Minister a National Dairy Council, the functions of which shall be as follows:—

(a) To make representations from time to time to the Minister on any or all of the following matters, so far as they affect the dairying industry in Saorstát Eireann:

(i) the improvement or safeguarding of the industry;

(ii) any proposed new legislation or proposed amendments of existing Acts;

(iii) any regulations proposed by the Minister in connection with any Act relating to dairying;

(iv) Any matter arising out of the operation of any Act, or of any regulation made under an Act;

(v) the appointment of examiners of butter, and other officers to be appointed by the Minister in connection with the inspection of registered premises or dairy products;

(b) to enquire, either by itself or in conjunction with any person or persons appointed by the Minister into the progress, policy, and development of dairying in other countries;

(c) in conjunction with the examiners appointed by the Minister, to examine either at the ports or elsewhere samples of butter where considered desirable, with a view to advising the Minister or other department either generally or in any particular instance in connection with the examination of butter;

(d) to investigate the operation of any Act affecting dairying, or the operations of any clause or schemes under that Act, with a view to advising the Minister;

(e) to advise the Minister generally on any matter affecting the industry.

(2) The Council shall be constituted of twelve members to be appointed by the Minister from persons nominated in such manner as shall be provided by regulations under this Act; in the first instance by the manufacturing exporters of butter, and afterwards by the persons and firms whose names appear for the time being in the registers kept pursuant to Section 13 (1) of the Act. The Minister may remove any member of the Council.

(3) The Council shall, subject to the approval of the Minister, appoint its own officers, and provide for the carrying out of its own clerical work."

This may be regarded as very important, and probably those whose enterprises are affected by this Bill will regard a section such as this, or the setting up of the Dairy Council, or Advisory Committee of some kind, as one of the most important parts of the Bill. The Minister, on the occasion of the last meeting of this Committee, stated that everything would depend on how this Act was to be administered; that it was within the range of possibility that this Act, if its operations were not wisely administered, might make things worse than they are at present. I do not know what is the Minister's attitude towards the setting up of a Dairy Council, but an outstanding feature of this Bill, as it stands, seems to be the extraordinary, comprehensive and drastic powers which are given to the Department over this particular industry. In fact, if the industry itself was nationalised, I think it would hardly have wider, more comprehensive and more detailed powers over it than by the Ministerial Department that is provided for in this Bill. However, the industry is not being nationalised. Private interests and private enterprises are concerned, and the livelihood of many people is concerned. Therefore, I think it is necessary, in all fairness, that those whose occupations and enterprises are so closely and comprehensively affected, should have some provision by which they can be protected or safeguarded against the effect of unfair or unwise official action in this matter. As the Minister stated several times in various ways, he has taken power under this Bill to do many things, especially in regard to examination at the port. I said, when discussing that proposal, that it is important that the decision as to when such an examination should take place should be influenced by a council of men who are concerned with the industry and who would be represented upon such a body as is proposed in this amendment. When I speak of a National Dairy Council, or when I consider the Advisory Committee—I think that is the proposal of Deputy Heffernan—we want something more than a body that is summoned on the sweet will of the Department, that will call them together once in six months or three months to give them the appearance of being in existence—a body that will have within itself a considerable degree of autonomy, that will have their own officials, and that will be called together, not by an official of the Department, but at suitable times on their own decision and by their own official, who will not be a mere official of the Department. If the proceedings and the meetings and the operations of such a council were simply to be decided on and controlled by an official of the Department, it would defeat the very object for which this amendment is made; that is to set up a body representative of the people concerned in this industry for the purpose of securing that there shall be safeguards against unfair official decisions and official actions. That is largely the point I wish to make on the matter. I do not know what the attitude of the Minister is towards this thing, but I do want to make it perfectly clear that what I have in mind is not something that is a mere subordinate—it will be subordinate, of course, in the real sense of the word, to the Ministerial authority, but in no way subordinate to mere officialism; that it will have autonomous powers with limits within which it can operate, and that it shall be competent to give advice on the various matters affecting the industry, in regard to which the Minister has taken power to make certain regulations, and take power to avert repetition of official interference which I think are on record and which I think have been calamitous to a considerable extent to the industry in the past.

I have here some note about someone.

And the exceptions, too. We wish to have both.

I think it was in 1920, when there was some official control of the industry; with the result that people who were not in the industry at all, in the legitimate sense, were able to evade regulations and export butter, making a substantial profit, while the people who were in the business and abided by the regulations had their trade held up until they lost about �100 a ton on butter. I believe that was in the time that butter was controlled, in 1920. Those are my reasons for proposing the amendment.

I want to support the amendment. As you know, I have two other amendments dealing with the same thing. The only thing I would like to say is that we who propose this Advisory Council want to have a really effective Advisory Council—a Council that will be consulted frequently. I do not know if it will be feasible to give the Council power to call itself together. At least, we would like to have some guarantee that the Council will be called sufficiently frequently to deal with any important matters which may arise, and that it will deal with all regulations before such regulations are placed on the Table of the House, or before they are promulgated.

I will have an opportunity, I suppose, of speaking three times on this amendment; and there are two others on which I can also speak three times. I may say, first, that we do not want a Council with administrative powers. There is no question about that.

That is not asked.

We can only have an Advisory Council. Number two: We must be free, either to take or reject its advice. There is no use setting up a Council unless it is a representative council, and unless its advice and assistance are sought.

If we are going to deal with this matter at a later stage, there is no occasion to deal with it now.

You do not support this particular amendment?

Not in its present form.

I, too, take the view that the amendment in its present form is not acceptable, but I want to support generally the idea of the setting up of a National Dairy Council. The details, as set forth in the amendment by Deputy Milroy, seem to me to be faulty in many ways, more particularly in sub-section (2). For instance, where, in the first instance, manufacturing exporters are to be considered in the question of nomination, and afterwards other persons, such as the creameries. That seems to indicate a fault in the conception according to my views of what the Dairy Council should be. I prefer to support the proposal of Deputy Heffernan, and reserve my general remarks on the subject until Deputy Heffernan's amendment comes forward.

I would like to say. I am only supporting the principle. I do not support the actual amendment.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Amendment 57 (a):—
To insert before the First Schedule a new section as follows:—
" A Vocational Advisory Council shall be appointed by the Minister and shall consist of representatives selected from the various interests engaged in the industry and shall advise the Minister on all matters concerning the working of the Act, and shall be consulted by him on the making of any regulations under this Act. The members of the Council shall hold office for a period of two years and shall be eligible for re-appointment."—(Deputy Heffernan.)

I would like to ask leave to amend that amendment by withdrawing the word " vocational " and making it " An Advisory Council."

Agreed.

I beg to propose the amendment standing in my name, as amended, 57 (a). With regard to the last paragraph, I wish to say that it is a matter largely for arrangement. I am not very strong on that; that is to say, that the members of the Council shall hold office for a period of two years. On the principle of the Advisory Council I am very strong; and the principle that it should be representative of all interests is also a matter of great importance. One of the great difficulties about this would be to get an adequate representation of the interests concerned. I would suggest that the Minister should get a certain number of names of persons representing different interests, and that he should select his council from those names. That is my idea about it. The general principle laid down by Deputy Milroy I think applied to this. It is not possible for me to detail the duties of the council, but if I got an assurance that such a council will be arranged, and if the Minister will give an assurance that he will draft an amendment himself for the Report Stage that would definitely lay down the number of the council, the interests they were to represent, the duties of the council, and if his agreement to do so would cover the main points of my amendment, I do not wish to discuss the matter much further, because I think the general principle is accepted that the council is necessary.

I beg to support Deputy Heffernan in regard to the Advisory Council. I think it would be very helpful in administering the Act. In the first place it would act as a receiving station for grievances, from committees of creameries. They would have a body on which they were represented to put forward their grievances, instead of communicating their grievances to the Agricultural Department. For that very reason alone it would be helpful in the administration of the Act. This council would act as a buffer between the inspectors and the managers. I would not like to leave it in the hands of the Department to call this council into being whenever they thought fit. There should be stated times at which they would be called together.

I wish to support this amendment, so far as the first part of it is concerned. As regards the term of office, that is only a minor matter. I agree with Deputy Hogan that an Advisory Committee would be very helpful to the Minister himself. The administration has got to remain in the hands of the Minister, but such an Advisory Committee would be of the greatest assistance to him. The members of it would be in touch with local surroundings, and they could supply him with information direct. They would be able to give unprejudiced information, which is a very useful thing. I also agree with Deputy Hogan that there should be stated times when they would be called together during the year. I think it would be well that they should be called together at specified times—say three or four times a year—so that they would be in touch with the Minister and that he would be in touch with them if he wanted to consult them. I think it would be an advantage to him as well as to the whole industry.

I am particularly interested in this subject. I would like to suggest that it is not a matter merely concerning the administration of the national brand, for instance, but that the principle of a National Council associated with a Minister is a matter of very great importance, and I think it should be borne in mind that the Minister's own present position as a Minister—not a member of the Executive Council—has been made, such as it is, with a view to the possibility of a Council of this kind associating with him in the conduct of his Department. It may not be unreasonable to ask the Committee to refer to the Dairying section on the Report of the Commission on the Resources and the Industries of Ireland, dated March, 1922. Like most of the Commission, I suppose very few people took very little notice of it but I venture to say there was a good deal worth thinking over in the Report of that Commission particularly those paragraphs which definitely deal with the establishment of a National Dairy Council. Such a council as was projected in that Report was a much more important body than that which is suggested in this amendment, but it did foresee the likelihood that the Council which was to be set up representatives of all the various interests in the industry, would in the earlier stages be rather consultative than executive. The amendment does take that point of view that the Council shall be, as they say, advisory. I suggest that in our minds, should be rather tentative that they should eventually have the view of being an authority with the Minister for the time being as the President or the Chairman of that Council, which would act more or less as the administrative authority for dairying interests in the country. After all the Minister for Agriculture is now the Minister for Land and Agriculture, and the administration of that part of his Department which deals with dairying must inevitably be left in the hands of specially selected officers of the Department. He acts as the responsible Minister, and he is advice by those specially selected officers. I suggest the advisability of having in a closer association with the Department as a whole all the various interests affected by this industry. The appointment of a Council which is directly in touch with the elements constituting the industry, constantly in touch also with the mind of the Ministry, and having to mould the mind of the Ministry, is much more likely to create confidence in the administration and operations of the Ministry and in the regulations that will have to be enforced under this Bill and generally to conduct the affairs of the Department in respect of dairying. If there is a Council of this kind set up which is in constant touch with the Ministry, constantly consulted by the Ministry, and on whom the Minister will rely as being competent and capable of conveying to him the views of the people concerned, I think very great value will accrue.

There has been a great deal of criticism levelled against the old plan of the Council of Agriculture. The chief criticism that was directed against that Council was that it did not represent agriculture, that it chiefly represented shopkeepers and traders. In so far as it did that it was faulty, but I think the idea behind that Council was a good one, and it rather required to be amended than abolished, and be made actually representative of the interests concerned and be in close contact with the Minister, because it would ensure, as was generally contended on behalf of the old Department, that they were moving along and carrying the constituent elements with them in any action they took. I think that is a very desirable state to aspire to. I believe the setting up of an Advisory Council of any kind would be good if it really represented the different interests. I believe if there was a small body who were associated with the Minister appointed by a larger number who met less frequently, it would be still more valuable, and I would have the hope that such a body, if set up, would eventually come to be that Department of State which administered matters affecting dairying and would be perhaps the precursor of a number of other small departments or vocational councils representative of the various interests. I would hope the Minister is not going to be adverse to the proposition in the amendment. It is right enough to allow him to make of the Council such a body as he would wish both in size and powers. It at least sets forth the idea and would ensure that the Minister is not going to be simply the head of a bureaucratic department, but that he is going to keep in constant touch with the people whose administration he is primarily concerned with. I hope the Minister will accept the amendment.

I certainly accept the substance of the amendment. I do not like to accept it just as it stands, because I have not time to examine all its implications, but I accept the idea that is underlying it. It is too early to discuss an administrative council, and we have not time to go into the various limits that would have to be imposed on any such council before it could begin to function at all. I suggested that I would agree to an advisory council, and that, of course, it followed from that that we could either take or reject its advice. I think that the Minister should be free to refer any matters he wishes to this council. It is no use saying that he should refer all matters or all regulations. If you agree with the first proposition that the Minister should be free to either take or reject the advice, then there is no use putting in that second proposition that he should refer all matters; none whatever. The important thing is to make a reality of the Council when you do appoint it. The important thing is to appoint a really efficient council first; that is the reason I do not want to go into details of the particular section setting up the council. It is too important. It is not very easy to make up your mind as to what exactly the constitution of the council should be. I have not succeeded in doing it up to the present. I would like to see the section fairly wide, so that we would have power to make any changes afterwards when discussing the constitution of the council, and we would not be bound by the words of the section. I will undertake, with Deputy Heffernan and the other Deputies interested, to produce an amendment before the Report Stage, which I hope will at least coincide with the substance of this amendment.

I only want to say one word with reference to what the Minister has said, that that is rather a matter to be discussed afterwards. I am rather in favour of having practically all regulations of substance submitted to the council.

I agree that is my idea.

I am willing to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Question: " That the Committee do now adjourn until 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 9th "— put and agreed to.
The Committee adjourned at 2.5 p.m.