The more I consider this amendment the more I am against it. I am profoundly hostile, if you like, to the idea underlying the amendment. I think it is absolutely unsound. I am at one with Deputy Hogan and Deputy Milroy when they say that it is of vital importance that the creameries and everybody in the trade should be absolutely certain of the impartiality of the officials. That is vital and it is absolutely important. It is important, of course, in every service, but it is particularly important in the administration of a Bill like this. We all want to have it that the creameries and everybody connected with the trade should have the fullest confidence in the impartiality of the officials, and it is because of that that I am against it. The section as it is drafted, as Deputy Johnson pointed out, would probably preclude any man who had an interest in any farm from becoming an inspector under the Act. But I was not concerned so much with the actual possibilities of the drafting. I was taking it in bulk, and I was taking the meaning which, I assume, Deputy Heffernan was himself taking out of it. But Deputy Johnson's point, that any man who owned a farm or who had any interest in a farm would be precluded from being an inspector by that amendment is quite sound.
On the other hand, a man might have ï¿½10,000, ï¿½15,000, ï¿½20,000 worth of shares in a creamery in his stockbroker's name, and be quite a respectable creamery inspector under that amendment. It could not touch him. What is the lesson that you draw from those two facts? One, that a man who had an interest in a farm, an outside interest, would come under the section, and the other that a pretty smart fellow who had a huge interest in perhaps a big combine of creameries could keep outside it by the very simple device of having shares in his stockbroker's name. What is the lesson that you draw from these two facts? That you cannot really get what you want by a section in an Act of Parliament; it can always be evaded. From the point of view of keeping officials impartial, it is absolutely useless, and on the other hand, there is the implication that the old convention which applies to every service is being weakened, that in future we are going to deal in a different way with public servants whom we find in a shady transaction. If there was some question as to the conduct of a public official in connection with a creamery, and it was found, let us say, that his stockbroker held ï¿½20,000 worth of shares for him in another creamery, of course the people in charge of the Department would know how to deal with him, and would deal with him immediately. He would not come under this at all. You would be taking a step which would lead to a new standard of conduct later on under which such men would not be dealt with, because, perhaps, they did not come within the section. The amendment is useless to effect this purpose, and any business man who is not suffering from mental deficiency could get outside it. On the other hand, it weakens the standard, which you cannot strengthen by Acts of Parliament, and it weakens a convention which regulates the conduct of officials in every branch of the Civil Service.