SECTION 4 (SUB-SECTION 3).
Any such notice as aforesaid may require—
(a) that the premises or any specified portion thereof be cleansed;
(b) that the plant and machinery, or the appliances, or any part thereof and the utensils or any of them used in the premises be cleansed;
(c) that the premises or any specified portion thereof be put in a state of good repair;
(d) that such structural alterations or additions be made in or to the premises as the notice may specify;
(e) that the plant and machinery, or the appliances, or any part thereof and the utensils or any of them used in the premises be put in a state of good repair;
(f) that such improvements or additions as the notice may specify be made in or to the plant, machinery, appliances, and utensils used in the premises;
(g) that any steps be taken, either generally or as specified, to ensure that the milk or cream and all other ingredients and materials used in the process of manufacturing dairy produce on the premises be clean;
(h) that any course of contamination to which the dairy produce manufactured in the premises, or the ingredients and materials thereof, are exposed be removed or rendered innocuous;
(i) that the premises be supplied with an adequate supply of good and wholesome water.
I move the following amendment:
Section 4, sub-section (3), line 28. Immediately after the word " specify " to insert the words " and the regulations may prescribe."
This is the old question up again, the old question of structural alterations. To a certain extent we modified the power in regard to structural alterations, but now we are up against its enforcement by order, and I think that some different form of words would be necessary; otherwise the Inspector can order anything he likes on the smallest farm.
Where they are selling butter.
Where they are manufacturing it for sale.
I thought this only applied to premises where dairy produce is manufactured?
It does not mean sale by the farmer?
Yes, but not on the premises.
The wholesale man would buy the material and export it.
We are in a position to control the making of butter on small farms, in view of the fact that a lot goes to butter factories, and then there is the butter originally made in the farmhouse. It was agreed that the condition of that butter is not anything like what it might be, and it is necessary to get after that matter and have it altered straight away. If that is so, we have to be in a position to make these regulations, and I agree we must do all we can to see to it that there is not going to be arbitrary action by an Inspector. I do not see how there can be under this section. In practice what would happen would not be by any means arbitrary. Of course, in the event of structural alterations being necessary, they would have to be discussed, not only by the Inspector, but by the Senior Officer of the Department. On the other hand, Senator Sir John Keane would say that promises are no good and that promises of efficient administration are not of much use. It may be said that this is an Act that will be in operation for a long time, and that people will endeavour to take advantage of it, and that it will be administered in a rough and ready fashion. I do not see how it would be possible to make regulations beforehand to cover such a wide field if one assumes different cases.
I desire to see some attempt made to safeguard the small farmers against the possible exercise of these powers. With regard to the Minister's remark about butter factories being supplied mainly from small farms, let me say that Ireland will never recover its position in the matter of factory butter. Its butter will always be inferior, and the butter will be only improved by having these butter factories superseded by creameries, and by having the creameries working on a national brand. You will never get anything but second-grade and un satisfactory but second-grade and unsatisfactory butter from factories, even under the best conditions.
But we must take conditions as they are.
That is so. The difference between here and Denmark is caused by the very same reasons that made Cork and Kilkenny, and districts of that sort, purely dairying districts. The whole of Denmark is dairying from start to finish. There are no districts like we have in Galway and the Midlands. There is no prospect that you will have creameries spread all over the Midlands or in Galway and Clare, and places like that. You have land not only suitable for dairy farmers, but for stores and fat cattle, and so on; but you will never have the same uniform, simple type of farm, for a complexity of reasons, as will be found in Denmark. You have land which varies a tremendous amount, and you have a climate; which also varies tremendously; but particularly, you have a totally different type of land. Unlike Denmark, you have a great many varieties of climate. That is why you have different types of farming in different districts. You will not have creameries spread over this country with the same uniformity as they are spread in Denmark. You never will have that, no matter what steps you take to bring it about. You will always have butter made in the farm as a bye-product, and it will be sent to butter factories. It would be rather rash to prophecy that that state of affairs would end within a reasonable time. Hence, you must provide for that very big proportion of our exports that is at present half our exports.
Well, anything we can do to improve the repute I am in favour of, but I do not think it will improve it an iota. We are going to impose on the people who are ill able to bear them, and who will resent them, these regulations, stringent regulations which will not affect any good to the butter or to the community. That is what I feel, and I think it is unwise to impose regulations that are not going to make it good. I am talking about the factories.
My answer to that is this: that if, we are going to sit here and make up our minds that butter leaving this country is of a very inferior quality and we cannot improve it, that is a very serious state of affairs. I do not subscribe to it.
You will agree, if that is so, that it is a very serious state of affairs, especially in view of the fact, you will agree, that butter factories will always be in this country.
The only way that I will agree with the Minister that we can improve it is by diminishing the quantity very considerably. If you make conditions stringent enough to improve it you will drive out a number of suppliers of the factories, who will not stay in business.
They will go into something else.
Would it not affect the first-class farmers to get an increased price for home-made butter by sending it by post?
I believe there are very few farmers who are sending butter by post to the other side. Numbers of farmers are getting a very good price from local shopkeepers at home, but they are in a very small proportion.
These people are people who have a small dairy. These have a few cows, dairies, separators, and some kind of utensils. A man in Clare makes butter as a side issue. These are the men we want to deal with now. Probably all the butter made for a butter factory is butter that is made as what you might call a side issue. No man who is supplying butter in that way is a dairy farmer.
From my experience of a few areas of the country, I do not think that this would inflict much hardship on one per cent. of the butter-makers of the County Wexford. That one per cent. deserves to be looked after, because they are doing harm to the whole butter trade of the district.
I am trying to ascertain exactly when and under what circumstances an Inspector can require structural alterations, and apparently it is only when he has satisfied himself that some of the conditions of cleanliness and order, under Section 3, have been offended against, and if he finds that physically some room in which butter is being made is improper—for instance, if it indicated that the manure yard, or something like that, or some room in which the air was not good, he could order that to be dealt with?
Or he could order ventilators to be put in, which would be a structural alteration.
We have first to prevent people from keeping butter under the bed, when it is made.
Another difficulty that I see—perhaps Sir John Keane can remove it—is this: You make a regulation, could you prescribe——
Under a series of regulations you might prescribe a whole place where butter is made as unsuitable.
You want to have this done by means of regulations?
Butter shall not be made in certain places. I should have to think it out very carefully. Certain things shall not be done, and outside those limits I should leave them alone, or else I should try to get a separate set of regulations to govern creameries and factories, as distinct from individual farms. I want to see the individual farmer protected against the very wide powers that are conferred by this section. I do not want to take up any more time.
If you isolate, so to speak, the farmers from the creameries and butter factories, and all the rest of the other premises, can you possibly make beforehand any regulations which would apply to all the farmers' houses, and at the same time be close enough just to deal with the one case that may arise?
I say making regulations assumes that we are going to rush into every farmhouse and make suggestions for changes. That is not going to cure.
I am satisfied that the thing is unenforceable to a great extent. I suppose that I can bring up this point again before, the whole House?
I certainly agree with Sir John Keane in this particular amendment.
Amendment put, and declared lost.
In Section4, sub-section (3), line 46, to delete the words " the premises be supplied with " and to substitute therefor the words " there shall be made available."
This is only consequential.
Amendment put, and agreed to.