Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 19 Jun 1924

Vol. 7 No. 27


I explained on the First Reading that this was a contentious Bill, but I want to say at once that it is a contentious Bill only in regard to one particular point. It is, of course, a very important point. It is, if you like, the principle of the whole Bill. The Bill is a very long one, but the sections that deal with that particular point, which I will outline, are the only sections that can be said to be highly contentious. This particular subject of improving and standardising the output of our creameries, and improving the methods of marketing, has been discussed by all the interested parties for the last five or six years. I think this is the third Bill that has been drafted to give effect to what was thought to be required. These Bills were never introduced. This is the first Bill introduced, but the provisions of all these Bills were discussed in detail, criticised, reformed, and reconsidered by all the interested parties on various occasions for the last four or five years. This Bill will be no more contentious than the Egg Bill, but for the big issue, that is to say, whether butter should be graded at the ports or whether the national brand should be given to creameries that are thought fit for that brand after examination and inspection, and on the Ministry being satisfied as to the standards of equipment and technical competence of these creameries. That is the only contentious issue. There are contentious details, but except for that issue this Bill would be no more contentious than the Egg Bill, though it is much longer than the Egg Bill. The other details of the Bill, I should say, have received more agreement and more examination and consideration by the traders concerned than even the details of the Egg Bill, so that none of us is coming to this subject anew. We all heard it before, and we discussed it at great length. Though that issue, which I have mentioned requires the most careful consideration, and though there is a lot to be said on both sides, I hope the Bill will not be held up on the grounds that it is a long Bill, and that difficulties will not be put in the way with regard to the other matters that are really not contentious. The scheme of the Bill is, briefly, as follows:—All premises in which dairy produce is manufactured for sale must be kept clean and in order; must be suitable for the requirements of the business, and must be provided with an adequate supply of pure water. That refers to all premises, creameries, butter factories and dairies.

Any authorised officer on being satisfied on inspection that any premises used for the purpose mentioned does not comply with the requisite conditions of cleanliness and order may serve notice on the occupier requiring the defects to be remedied, and failure to comply with the notice subject to a right of appeal to an arbitrator to be appointed by the Executive Council, will be an offence.

That is a summary of sections which deal with all premises, creameries, butter factories, and dairies. These sections attempt to ensure that all premises in which butter is manufactured will be kept clean and in order. We next come to the supply of milk. The supplying of dirty milk or cream or milk or cream delivered in a dirty vessel to creameries, cream-separating stations, or other places in which milk or cream is used for manufacturing human food for sale, or its acceptance in such places, and the supplying of dirty butter or its use in butter factories or other places in which butter is used for manufacturing articles of human food, are also made offences.

It is realised that we must go back to the sources, and that we must insist that the milk supplied to creameries and the butter supplied to butter factories by farmers, the producers, must be clean, and produced under circumstances in which cleanliness is possible. The Bill provides for the registration of, first, creameries; secondly, of cream-separating stations; and, thirdly, other premises used for the manufacture of butter other than creamery butter, for export, that is to say, butter factories. Prior to registering any premises of any of these three classes, the Minister must be satisfied that the premises comply with the conditions of cleanliness and order applicable to all premises used for the manufacture of dairy produce for sale, and in addition the premises must be equipped with certain specified equipment, or such other equipment as the Minister may approve. Regulations will have to be observed by persons carrying on the business on registered premises with a view to securing proper methods of manufacture, and of marketing their produce. The Bill provides for the establishment of a national brand for creamery butter of an approved standard of quality, packing and finish. Before I go from that point, I want to draw attention again to the classes I have mentioned. The Bill provides for the registration of creameries, cream-separating stations, and other premises used for the manufacture of butter, that is to say butter factories. Regulations will be made with regard to cleanliness and equipment for all these institutions, and butter cannot be made there, and butter cannot be exported from them, and cream cannot be collected at the cream-separating stations unless these stations are registered, and they will not be registered until they comply with the conditions of cleanliness and equipment which are considered essential.

With regard to the national brand, any creamery registered under the Bill will be entitled to obtain from the Minister permission to use the brand so long as the creamery complies with certain approved conditions as to equipment, staff, methods of manufacture, etc., to be prescribed in rules made by the Minister, and so long as the butter ordinarily made at the creamery attains the requisite standard of quality and packing and finish as determined by examinations of the manufactured butter to be made (a) at the creamery and (b) at surprise butter inspections to be carried out in accordance with rules to be made by the Minister at any place, either at the port of transit or anywhere else. The creamery, therefore, to get the national brand must first of all be registered; secondly, it must have the standard equipment and the technical competence; but it must have considerably over that required for mere registration. For instance, no creamery will get the national brand that is not pasteurising. It is conceivable that a creamery will be allowed to export without pasteurising, but generally the standard of equipment and the technical competence to qualify any creamery for receiving the national brand will be high. The Minister may at any time by order provide for the granting of the use of the national brand to butter made at premises other than registered creameries subject to compliance with the same conditions as apply in the case of creameries, but modified and adapted so as to meet the special requirements of the premises in which the butter is made. It will not be lawful to export unless (1) the butter is exported direct from a registered creamery; or (2) the butter is exported direct from premises registered under the Act for the manufacture of butter (other than creamery butter) for export; that is to say, exported from a butter factory; or (3) the butter is exported from premises registered in the register of non-manufacturing exporters. We register certain premises which are not creameries, and which are not butter factories, but which belong to the wholesalers, where butter, perhaps, made in creameries and in factories is exported, and special licences may be obtained for the export of any consignment of butter.

It will not be lawful to export butter unless every package is marked with a mark or number to be assigned by the Minister to the premises from which it is exported or, in the case of a special licence, to be specified in the licence. It is proposed to prohibit the export of any butter not properly packed or marked, or of any butter from a creamery or butter factory containing over 16 per cent. of water. Possibly, perhaps I should say probably, we will allow an export of butter from premises belonging to somebody who is not a manufacturer, even though that butter contained over 16 per cent. of water. That may or may not be allowed. It possibly will be allowed in the beginning. It will depend on the market and how the trade develops. It possibly may not be allowed later on. In either event there is a discretion either to allow or forbid it. The Bill confers ample and drastic powers of inspection of premises where butter is manufactured.

That is the scheme of the Bill. As I said before, the debatable issue is, whether butter should be graded at the ports or whether we should give a national brand which would be a mark of premium quality to any butter coming from creameries where the standard of technical competence and equipment is up to the minimum prescribed. That is the issue. It is felt that we should aim in this country, at least, at something approaching the standard of Denmark; that our aim should be to produce one quality of creamery butter and one quality only, namely, the best. It will take some time to realise that, but that should be our aim. If that is our aim, then I think the question as to whether all butter should be graded at the ports and whether we should have a first, second, third or fourth grade, or whether we should give, in the first instance, a national brand to choice butter, and merely allow the export of all other butter fit for export under licence, can be easily decided.

We have to remember that it is almost common case that, even if we adopted the grading system, we can only grade at the ports with any safety butter coming from creameries which would be entitled to the national brand under the branding scheme. We could not grade at the ports with any safety butter coming from creameries where the standard was not up to the required minimum. It is admitted that in order to grade butter at the ports the only tests possible in the circumstances are tests for flavour, smell, and water content. Even though some very good judges, people who would be entitled to be called experts, will say that these three tests can find out all that is to be found out about a particular consignment of butter, I think the weight of evidence is that they are not final or conclusive. Butter might be graded at the ports as choice butter on these three tests, and in a fortnight afterwards that particular consignment might be anything but choice butter. That is the reason that we could not with any safety attempt to give a first grade, a premium grade, to butter which has come from a creamery whose standards are not up to the minimum required for the national brand.

So that the issue between the people who favour the national brand and the people who favour grading at the ports is really narrowed down to this: should butter coming from the limited number of creameries—limited at present— whose standards are up to the mark, and who in view of their standards would be entitled to the national brand, be graded at the ports? That is what it comes to. Suppose for a moment that a consignment of butter came from a creamery whose general standards were not up to the national brand standard but which proved on taste, smell and water content to be first-class butter—even though that is first-class butter I think it is admitted by the creamery managers that they could not give it a premium grade. The question arises, therefore—What grade should it get? If it cannot get the first grade why should it get the second? In any event, why should it not get the first grade, if it is first class? It cannot get the first grade, even though it is first class, because nobody can be sure that it was manufactured under conditions which are bacteriologically all right, and, consequently, that it will be as good butter in fourteen or fifteen days after the various bacilli get going at it. I think it is even admitted by the Creamery Managers' Association, who are the best-informed champions of the grading-at-the-port system, that they could not give it first grade. Why, then, should they give the second? Although this is a contentious issue, we can narrow it down to a very small point, and that is, whether we give a national brand to butter up to a certain standard, coming from creameries which are also up to a certain standard, or whether we will grade that butter. The issue is not really a live issue in connection with any other butter that comes from any other creamery. It will probably save a certain amount of debate to try to narrow the issue at this stage.

This is a Bill we have been agitating for for years. The Minister is quite right when he says that we have been asking for this for four or five years. We welcome the Bill as a step in the right direction. We have been always convinced that if left to ourselves we would never reach the standard required and which we should aim at. We saw that the only way to deal with it was by a State scheme. There is no need for speech-making to emphasise the necessity for this. All that need be referred to are questions of detail. This is a Bill of the utmost importance and marks a new era in our economic life. We cannot be too careful in taking the first big step in our economic life in this matter. We cannot be too careful in laying the foundations carefully, and the provisions of this Bill are the foundations.

We got the Bill on Tuesday evening and we are going to give it a Second Reading to day. We have not had time to go through the different sections in the Bill carefully. We have very little objection to the Bill, but we would like to get the Second Reading postponed for a week. If the Government is not agreeable to that we will ask for sufficient time, between now and the Committee Stage, to consider this Bill so that the foundations will be laid as they should be laid. In a matter of such importance we consider that nothing less than three weeks or a month would be sufficient to deal with it properly. The Bill introduces new and drastic steps. Such steps may not be new to other countries, but they are new in this country. As the Minister stated, grading is the bone of contention, especially the method of putting on a brand. It is not now that that contentious question has arisen, as we have been up against it for three years. Two bodies have been offering advice as to how the question should be dealt with. They are still offering advice. Advice is always good, but the right thing to do is to select the best advice regardless of who gives it.

The question of grading is a contentious one, and sometimes it is not a disinterested one. I would ask the Minister to postpone the Committee Stage, as long as possible, so that we might get suggestions with regard to amendments from people who are vitally interested. There are experts up and down the country, and it is on their advice amendments will be framed, so that the foundations of the Bill will be solidly laid. We wish the Bill good luck. It is something that we have asked for, and we are glad that it has now arrived. The Minister has the Bill on his finger tips, and he has had expert advice for months. We have not had that advantage, and we want a little time to consider it. We have been asking for a Bill of this kind for a long time. The Agricultural Commission unanimously recommended that such a Bill should be introduced, and the important thing now is to have the foundations right.

I would like the Minister to explain, if he can, what objections the champions of grading have to this system, and if there is not something in the fact that it is a dangerous thing to give a creamery which might conform to all the conditions required, power to send butter to England branded with the highest mark, which might still be wrong. I believe that is the essential point against the Minister's system as compared with grading. I do not stand for either system at present. I stand for the best system, and the question is, which is the better of the two? As Deputy Gorey has said, we agree with the principle of the Bill, but we require time in order to get the best advice as to where it may be necessary to amend it. In order to do so we ask to have the Committee Stage deferred as long as possible.

I would like to support the Second Reading of the Bill. In the main I think it does attempt to embody the unanimous recommendations of the Agricultural Commission on this matter. I would like if the Minister would consider the question of altering the little somewhat, and allowing a little latitude, so that the Bill might cover, if the necessity arose, not merely dairy produce, but milk itself. The Bill deals with milk manufactured into something else, and I want to see the same provision made applicable to milk as to butter. We may have what are now called creameries sending away whole milk. We may have them sending away cream, which, under the definition in the Bill, might not be considered dairy produce. I make that suggestion to the Minister. It will not alter the structure of the Bill very much but would allow for possibilities that we should foresee. Grading is a question that has given rise to a good deal of contention.

Grading at the ports has been put forward as a counter-proposal to the establishment of a national brand. It has been argued as a counter-proposal. I think that, even if there was a grading system, it would still be desirable to have a national brand. I think it should be after a period of experience of the national brand, and of the administration of a Bill of this kind, that we should insist upon grading at the ports. There would be nothing to prevent a trade association of a creamery proprietors, or any co-operative organisation, arranging for grading at the ports, though it would not be, necessarily, a State institution. It could be done if the trade was insistent upon it, in addition to the application of the brand. But I would suggest for the consideration of those who are advocates of the grading system immediately, that antecedent to that there should be a period during which a general standard of excellence would have been established. When it is put forward, with the experience of New Zealand that grading at the ports is the example we should follow. I think it ought to be borne in mind that the surroundings of creameries and dairy farms in that country are better generally, from the standard of cleanliness and hygiene than in this country, and you have the preliminary steps fairly well established before you begin the grading system. You have also a period of six weeks for transportation before bacteria can begin to carry on their operations. When samplease are taken at the port of landing in England one can tell how far the original branding conforms to the actual condition at the time of landing.

The conditions in respect to Irish butter are very different and, while it may eventually prove to be valuable to have a grading system, I do not conceive that system as something which would supplant the necessity for a national brand for butter produced under good conditions. I look upon this matter, perhaps, somewhat differently from those others to whom I have spoken and who have discussed it. Some people seem to think that a national brand of itself is a brand of a particular consignment of butter. It is not. It is a brand to certify that the people who have been engaged in the making of that butter, the surroundings of the place where that butter is made, and the general standard of efficiency of the butter makers have been proved. It rather is on a parallel with the medical officer who has justified himself to his examiners as one qualified to act as a medical man. He is not asked to undergo a grading before he approaches a patient. He is not asked to put himself into a certain category, but he actually qualifies as a medical practitioner, and that, in fact, is what is proposed to be done by this scheme. The people who have to apply for the use of the national brand have to prove their completence, but this is better than the medical practice inasmuch as there is a consistent and continuing test of a person's qualifications. Unfortunately in the medical profession, once qualification has been obtained, there may be a deterioration, but in this case it is intended that there shall be a continuing test, that the dairies and their produce shall be frequently inspected, and, again differing from the medical practitioner, that if the results prove that the qualification originally granted is not justified then it will be withdrawn. In the case of doctors very often a number of deaths rather enlarge the practice.

The Bill will, I think, go a long way generally to raise the standard. It will require, I think the Minister will agree, that there should be a fairly general acceptance of the principles. If the farming community, assisted by the creamery managers, were to say, "We shall not have anything to do with this Bill, we shall not apply for the use of the national brand," the Bill would be of no effect, but I would expect, if the farming community decide that the Bill is to be of value, is acceptable, and will lay the foundations of a much more productive and profitable butter industry, that any dislike or opposition which creamery managers, who are in the main their servants, or supposed to be, have to the operations of the Bill as being rather second best, would not prevail. I hope not, at any rate. I think, however, whatever one may say as to the value of the grading system, that grading at the ports in preference to this national brand proposal should not be thought of as an alternative, and, as a matter of fact, it may be found, with a few years' use of the national brand, that it can be supplemented by a grading system which would really mean giving extra marks for the superior qualities of butter which have not merely qualified for a brand but are superior to ordinary branded butter. I submit it is better to think of the grading system as one which would eventually be supplementary to the national brand and not one which would be considered as an alternative to that brand.

We welcome this Bill. We realise that it is of the utmost importance to the country that Irish butter manufacture should be regulated, that a strong endeavour should be made to produce in Ireland the highest possible grade of butter and to make that butter of such a quality that we could secure as high, or nearly as high, a price as that secured by Danish manufacturers in the English market.

Higher, I hope.

We on the Farmers' Benches realise that unless we have the active co-operation of the farmers, creamery managers, and all who are interested in this trade, no Bill passed by the Government can be effective, and we are willing to offer our co-operation and do anything we can to make this Bill a success. The comment I would make about this Bill is this. It deals with a comparatively complex and intricate form of manufacture. It is a specialised subject and despite the fact that that subject has been discussed for many years we get this Bill on a Tuesday and are asked to pass its Second Reading on a Thursday, and I submit to the Minister that while we have not had sufficient time to form an adequate opinion of the Bill we are expected definitely to support its principles or otherwise. I think we should have got a longer period to consider the Bill before its Second Reading. One objection I have to the Bill is that it attempts to do too much by means of regulations. The Bill is simply a legislative skeleton upon which the Minister hopes to build up his flesh of regulations and, when the Bill is passed, he will have in his Department almost complete control over the rules and regulations to be made in connection with this butter control. Now, with regard to the vexed question of grading versus the system which the Bill proposes to carry into force, I would say that I have not definitely formed an opinion on the matter myself. I think it all hinges on this question, whether fresh butter can be graded at the ports within three days of its manufacture, and whether those responsible for grading at the ports can tell at that stage whether the butter will be in a similar stage in one, two, or three weeks. If they can definitely state that, I am for grading. I think the general contention is, and the general bulk of the evidence goes to prove, that they cannot do so. You may get butter at the ports which has been manufactured for two or three days and which will comply with the ordinary tests with regard to colour, flavour, texture, and water contents, and still it will not be bacteriologically pure, and in the course of a week or two the butter will develop ferments and bacilli which will have the effect of completely changing the quality. As Deputy Johnson says, the grading at the ports cannot be considered as an alternative to the system proposed by the Minister, but it may be reasonably considered as a supplement to the system.

The reason I think that is this: that in my opinion the system proposed in this portion of the Bill is not absolutely watertight; it cannot be absolutely effective to prevent bad butter going out of this country and prevent bad butter bearing the Irish brand going out of this country in the future. This examination of the creameries, these tests along the railway lines or at the ports, the technical competence of the staffs of the creamery, and all these things may be very effective, but still it may happen that occasionally bad consignments of butter will get out; and if many bad consignments of butter get out bearing the Irish brand, there is no doubt that fact will discredit the brand. And the only way I can see by which that can be avoided is by the grading at the ports.

There are regulations in this Bill which deal with the cleanliness of the milk and the cleanliness of the butter, and I think it is high time that such regulations were enforced. We, for our part, are willing to do all we can to see that cleanliness is carried out on the farms, because we believe that before high-grade Irish butter can be produced you must have cleanliness from the time milk is produced on the farms until the butter is packed at the ports. And it is only reasonable to expect that those who handle the milk ought to take all the elementary precautions to secure cleanliness, such as washing their hands before milking, and washing the cow's udder. But it is a fact that you may take all the ordinary measures to secure cleanliness, and still the butter manufactured may not be bacteriologically pure—that is, it can be contaminated in the creamery. I believe the greatest danger of contamination is the presence of ferments in the pipes and machines in the creamery, and for that reason it is absolutely necessary that inspection of the equipment and thorough knowledge of the technical ability and business qualities of the staffs of the creameries should be attended to. I believe that bacteriologically pure butter implies of necessity the pasteurisation of the cream. For that reason no butter will be, as I understand by the Bill, granted the Irish brand unless it is manufactured in a creamery which has the proper equipment. And in that equipment must be included the pasteuriser.

There is one suggestion I should like to make to the Minister, and I intend bringing it forward at the Committee Stage of the Bill. As the Bill stands at present, those who are particularly responsible for the production of butter, and those who are responsible for the production of milk, will have no further say in the carrying out of the measures which are proposed in this Bill, that is, the Minister and his Department will have complete control over the regulations which are to be enforced. We who have some knowledge of the action of the Department in regard to butter manufacture in this country in the past are very dubious about this, and we are very slow to give our support to any measure which will put such complete control in the hands of the Department and the officials of the Department. We have a very unhappy memory of the work carried on by the Department in 1920, when the system of butter control and butter licence was in force. It had the effect of losing for the Irish butter manufacturers, and therefore for the Irish farmers, an enormous sum of money—close on half a million, it is stated. For that reason we believe that it is advisable and necessary that some form of advisory council should be set up—some form of council which would deal with these rules and regulations and before whom these rules and regulations could be placed before being finally adopted by the Minister. Such rules and regulations should also be laid on the Table and be open for the inspection of the members of the Dáil for a sufficient time before they are enforced.

In my opinion, there is one very important omission from this Bill. It is in regard to what are known as cream gathering stations. There are certain portions of this country where these stations exist, and there may be many more before we are finished with this butter business. There is a factory which is engaged in the gathering of cream and the manufacture of that cream into butter. As I read the Bill at present, it will prevent the exportation of butter manufactured in such a creamery; and if that is so, it will penalise an excellent creamery, and it will prevent what, in my opinion, is a very important matter—the adoption of such a system in other parts of Ireland. My belief is that our aim should be in this country to endeavour to see that practically all the milk is converted into butter at creameries, or central institutions, because we believe that that is the only method by which you can attempt to standardise a product which is so difficult to standardise. But there are portions of this country which are not sufficiently thickly stocked with dairy cows to warrant the establishment of ordinary creameries: and in such places the obvious thing to do is to encourage the establishment of cream-gathering stations such as exist in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other places. The cream can be gathered over a very wide area. It can be retained for a day or two at the farms and then collected at the stations and manufactured into butter. As I read the Bill, it would not be possible to export butter manufactured in such creameries. If that is so, I hope the Minister will take steps to rectify that matter before the Bill passes through.

That is all I have to say about this Bill. There are many matters which, on further consideration, we may see fit to bring forward at the Committee Stage. I think, speaking for my Party, I may say that we are willing to support the principle of the Bill. We are not prepared to take a definite stand with regard to the possibility of grading, because we believe that there may be a possibility by which grading can be adopted, but we realise that, as things stand at present, grading cannot be accepted as an alternative to the principle proposed in this Bill.

I have just a few remarks to make on this Bill. One is, that it is regrettable that such a measure as this has to be introduced here at all, but the fact remains that we have had opportunities for managing this branch of our industry better than we are really doing it. I think we may as well say we failed to do what we ought to have done, and of necessity the Minister for Agriculture introduces this Bill. This Bill struck me as being very drastic, and Deputy Heffernan is correct when he says that the power of the Ministry to make regulations is really very great, and as we see the regulations will mean everything. The regulations must certainly be in words and phrases, a very much weightier document than this Bill is, as introduced. The authority the Minister should have in drafting the regulations is certainly a matter for serious consideration. They are certainly going to impose drastic regulations on trade. The Bill will do that. Because of that fact we cannot nor need we, expect that the Bill will be enthusiastically received by everybody. It will not. Any measure that is going to upset trade to a certain extent, or upset the conditions that some people regard as satisfactory, will never be satisfactory to everybody. There are people who would, perhaps, rather not see this Bill, because it will mean an upset in trade, but the country feels that a change is necessary. The recommendations of the Agricultural Commission are embodied in this Bill.

One feature of this measure is that it is certainly going to cost the dairying industry in this country a considerable amount of money if it is to be carried into effect, or if they are to profit by it—that is, if the creameries are to live up to the regulations which entitle them to benefit by the establishment of a national brand. It will certainly mean in the dairying Industry throughout the country, the expenditure of thousands and thousands of pounds. That will mean to many of our creameries, large and small, considerable difficulties. It is questionable whether on account of this fact many of our creameries throughout the country may be in a position financially to take steps to comply with the regulations that are necessary in order that they may compete for the national brand. Now, beyond doubt, the fact that our butter has not been up to the standard we would like is to some extent because the machinery in many of our creameries is not what it ought to be. That will have to be changed and altered. That will mean in every creamery, in a small separating station, an expenditure in some places of over £1,000 and in most places close to £1,000. It will mean much more to our large churning centres.

I have had some experience recently, and I regret to say the policy of our Irish banks towards many of our co-operative concerns is not at all as satisfactory as we would like, nor is it, at all, encouraging, if they are to make alterations that are necessary in order that they will benefit by the operation of this measure when it becomes law. This Bill when it becomes law will be the policy of the Government demands that our dairying industry, our co-operative and other creameries throughout the country generally, have to make alterations and changes that are necessary in order to comply with the Government policy, I would like to know if it would be Government policy that they should do anything by means of an expression of opinion that would make our Irish banks more favourable to our Irish farmers in trying to improve their industry by the employment of better methods. It seems to me beyond question that unless some facilities are given to many of our creameries, better credit facilities than we can get to-day, many of our creameries will not be able to make any efforts whatever to comply with regulations necessary to benefit by the operation of this measure.

There is the question of these regulations, and I am sure the Minister will admit that the regulations which are to be made under this Bill mean everything. They are more than this skeleton. They mean everything in the success or failure of the measure, the amount of restrictions that would be placed upon trade, and very naturally, those engaged in the trade to-day, many of those who have technical knowledge, and years of experience do feel that if they are put in the hands of the officials of the Department or met with a set of regulations that might not come before this House, and of which this House or the members might know nothing, that with those people going down the country with all this power of the law behind them, very many people in the trade would perhaps find themselves in a difficult position. In order that the Bill may be a success and achieve what the Minister and we hope is intended it will achieve, it is necessary that we should have the co-operation of all people interested in the trade, the business, and the industry in the country. If we are to have that, all those people ought to get an opportunity of knowing, and, if possible, of assisting in formulating the regulations which are to be made, and which are to govern their industry. That point of view ought to be taken into account by the Minister.

There is one point that struck me particularly, that is the question of cleanliness in the creamery. The inspector will have the power to visit the creamery and be the absolute judge as to whether that creamery is in a clean condition in accordance with regulations or not, There is to be no appeal. It seems very unfair that a creamery manager should be at the mercy of an individual going down there making a chance inspection, and making a report. That inspector might be capable, able and anxious to do what is right, but he might not be in a particular mood when he would be prepared to make the most favourable report on the conditions of the creamery. Personalities sometimes enter very largely into this, have entered into the administration of the affairs of the past, and will again in this country. It is not right that absolute power should be left to any inspector to report on the cleanliness of a creamery, and owners have no opportunity of appeal.

There is another point in connection with this measure and it is the question of whether this 4d. per cwt. is intended to cover all the expenses of administration. I see the Minister nods his head.

Nods his head in the negative. I have no doubt whatever about it. Already we have heard complaints of what this Bill is going to cost many of our bigger creameries. The Minister says that this is not sufficient to cover the cost of administration. I was going to point out that if it were, it was rather peculiar that this industry should have to defray all the cost of improving its own position, while at the same time people in the country were being taxed to help other industries. The Minister nods, indicating, I suppose, that that is not so. I accept that.