Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 19 Jun 1924

Vol. 7 No. 27


I have, in the first place, to apologise to the Dáil for getting up to talk about the Dairy Produce Bill at all, not being interested in the dairying industry. But I would like to draw the attention of the Dáil to the fact that again the Farmers' Party are giving conditional support to a measure very much on the same lines as a Bill that passed through this House, known as the Railway Bill. I cannot congratulate the Farmers' Party on their intelligent analysis in either case. We have heard from the Minister for Agriculture on various occasions that the farming community represents seventy-five per cent. of the wealth of the country, so far as exports are concerned—in other words, that the productive wealth of the country is represented by the farming community to the extent of seventy per cent. This Bill, with the support of the Farmers' Party, practically makes for the nationalisation of this industry.

This amounts to the nationalisation of an industry which, according to what we have heard, is incapable of doing anything for itself. If the estimates are turned up it will be found that the amount voted for this industry is £350,000.

That is very little out of twenty-six millions.

What I would like to know is what has the Ministry of Agriculture done in the expenditure of this large sum of money to inculcate in the farmers, individually and collectively, the need for carrying on their industry without Government intervention. It surprises me to hear, after all the pap fodder, that to-day the farmers should come along and say that they are incapable of managing their own business. They are going to go back to the Minister for Agriculture, and he says in reply to them "you are incapable of managing your own business, and I am going to manage it for you." That, I suggest, is not a very encouraging outlook. We have the farmers' representatives admitting that they cannot ensure on their own account clean butter or cleanliness in the dairy, or indeed anything that would be calculated to make a profit out of the industry which they are supposed to control. Now, if that is where we are drifting, it will not be long until someone comes and asks one of the Ministers to regulate the hours at which we are to have our breakfasts and our dinners, and perhaps to suggest what we are to have at these meals. I will vote for anything you like so long as it is within reason, but I say distinctly that this is not a measure which I think the Dáil should assent to. I think I hear Deputy Gorey interjecting some remarks here on my left.

On a point of order, I ask if the Deputy is in order at present. His criticism so far has been directed, not against the Bill which is before the Dáil, but in relation to the farmers' business.

That is not a point of order.

I think the Deputy should talk to the Bill and not about the farmers' business.

Evidently Deputy Gorey is not a very good subject to be criticised, or else he does not take criticism very well. I am rather inclined to think that some remarks of mine must have touched the sore spot.

They never do.

I am trying to talk on what is contained in the Bill, though Deputy Gorey may think that I may be out of order and may be talking through my hat. I made my position clear at the outset by stating that I was not individually interested in the dairy industry at all, and if I may put it so, perhaps my views may be freer from bias, for that very reason, than the views of Deputies from some other quarters of the Dáil. My object in speaking is to say that I do not think it necessary to have this Bill introduced at all. I am also opposing a principle in the Bill, because I have objected to the same principle when I saw it embodied in other Bills that came before the Dáil. The principle that I object to is Government interference in ordinary commercial matters except where it is absolutely necessary. If the farmers say that Government intervention is necessary as regards their industry then they have the right to support this Bill. But on the other hand, I object to Government interference in matters of trade and commerce for the reason that it is unhealthy and unwholesome, and generally detrimental to industry. On these grounds I deprecate the introduction of this measure. In my opinion it would be much more satisfactory if the people most deeply concerned in this industry would properly organise it themselves rather than have a measure of this kind introduced for the purpose.

I rise to support the Farmer Deputies in their demand for more time to consider this Bill. The Minister for Agriculture, in introducing the Bill, said, "I am anxious that before this Bill leaves the Dáil and comes to the Statute Book it will be considerably improved."


I added, "if improvement is found to be necessary."

Unless the Minister has qualms of conscience about the perfection of the Bill I cannot see why he should be anxious that these imperfections should be removed. I believe that this Bill was promised in the Governor-General's speech. The proposal, he said, had been discussed for the last four or five years. The Bill was made available on last Tuesday, and what it has taken the Ministry and its officials to evolve during the past twelve months is expected to be digested, analysed and accepted almost within twenty-four hours by the unfortunate Deputies. I say unfortunate, because Deputies who wish to take an intelligent part in these discussions have to analyse these Bills, whereas Ministers are in the fortunate position of having their thinking done for them by their officials. I am not speaking as an expert on this Bill. I am merely speaking from information I have received from those who are expert in the business and whose livelihood is dependent upon matters affected by the Bill. The Minister said in introducing the Bill, and he repeated it to-day with certain qualifications, that this was a contentious measure, and raised what he called the time-honoured issue regarding grading. He went on to say that he had decided not to adopt the method which was supported by a very considerable and well informed body of opinion in the country. This is a measure very far-reaching in its scope and severely drastic in its powers. The Minister has power to make regulations in regard to almost every section in the Bill. We know what that means, that it is not the Minister who will make these regulations, but the permanent officials. Under this Bill there is power to penetrate into and ascertain the private affairs of any person concerned in the industry affected. My information is in regard to the matter of grading that practically the whole of the trade is in favour of that. That is my information, but if it is not so, I am open to correction.

On a point of explanation, I desire to say that the whole of the trade is not by any means in favour of grading.

I accept that correction. Will the Deputy question the fact or the statement that grading at the ports of embarkation has now been adopted by nearly every country exporting to Great Britain?

Perhaps Deputy Hewat could give you information on that. He seems to know all about it.

Am I to take it that Deputy Gorey is instructing this Assembly in matters of deportment and etiquette? If that is so, I think the Deputy ought to be appointed Minister for Etiquette to this Assembly. Deputy Heffernan called attention to the fact that no provision had been made in the Bill for associating the industry in any way with the operations of this measure. The Deputy also called attention to the disastrous results of the policy pursued in 1920 in the matter of the control of the industry. The same officials who were responsible for these disastrous operations will probably be the persons under this Bill, as it stands, who will be responsible for its direction. As I said in the beginning, I do not presume to offer an opinion on this measure as an expert. I do suggest, however, that this measure is so far-reaching in its scope, and so drastic in its requirements, that the Minister who is so anxious to have this a good measure ought to give ample time for its discussion here. The interests of those who derive their livelihood from the industry ought to be very carefully considered, because as a result of this measure their interests will be affected for many years to come. I do not think the measure ought to be rushed through because if that is done its defects will only be discovered when it becomes law, and then we may require an amending Bill to remove these defects. I believe that what I have said on that point is in accord with representations made by the Farmers' Party. I think the request made by Deputy Gorey and his colleagues that the further consideration of this measure should be deferred to a later stage is a reasonable one. If consideration of the matter is not deferred until next session, I think at least that Deputies ought to get two or three weeks for the purpose of making a thorough examination of the Bill so that the important interests affected may be fully safeguarded. I think if the Minister agrees to that suggestion he may succeed in passing into law the ideal measure which he hoped for when introducing this one.

On a point of explanation, and lest there might be any misunderstanding regarding my statement as to what happened in 1920, and the officials responsible, I would like to say that I did not mean to insinuate that the Department is now under the same type of control that it was then. I have better hopes that the officials will be under a control which is much more in sympathy with the people. But on principle I do not believe in leaving the regulations of trade or matters of that kind to the officials of any Department. I think the people who are in the trade and whose interests are at stake ought to have a voice in making these regulations.

Is the Deputy quite satisfied that the mentality of the officials has so changed since then?


I will deal first with the point about the officials. It is the easiest and cheapest thing in the world to attack officials, but I want to announce to all whom it may concern, that in any democratic system of Government like this, where you have Ministers accountable to the Dáil, if anything goes wrong, it is the Minister who is responsible, and the Minister should take the blame. It is not fair that the officials, of whom I have no complaint to make, should be criticised here in the Dáil in that fashion. They have to do what they are told; that is what they are paid for. The Minister is under the direction of the Dáil. He has to formulate his policy; he is responsible for that policy, and the officials have only to carry it out and they should get fair play in the carrying out of their duties and not be attacked in that fashion.

I do not intend to follow Deputy Hewat or Deputy Milroy for although I did state that I was anxious that the Bill should be improved in its passage through the Dáil they both admitted that they did not know anything about the Bill.

As far as I am concerned I made no such statement. I said I had read the Bill, and studied it closely, but I said I did not speak as an expert in the dairy business.


It is the same thing. They both said they were not experts. They both admitted that they knew very little about the dairy business, and what Deputy Milroy has learned was he said what was told him within the last two or three weeks by men who were engaged in the business. With regard to Deputy Hewat he is worrying himself with the question of nationalisation. Nationalisation may be a very worrying thing but it beats me to think that any man could get up, at this time of day, and declare that he has one fixed dogma in politics and economics, and that is laissez faire. How anyone could adopt that attitude after the experience of the last ten years simply baffles me.

May I ask how can the Minister deduce that from anything that I said?


Because the Deputy is against any interference from the Government in business or industrial matters, and because absolute individualism is what he stands for. We will not argue about that now. Let the Deputy examine the Bill and make up his mind as to whether the Bill is necessary, and try and relieve his mind of this bogey of State interference and nationalisation, and examine the matter on its merits. Let him criticise the Bill and let him try to improve it.

If we knew the cost of the Bill, and what this legislation would cost it might help also.


Yes, the Deputy can get that, and, of course, that should be taken into account.

Will the Minister also inform the Deputy how much it is costing to bolster up industry and commerce in this country at the present moment?


I have only one thing to say to Deputy Hewat, and that is, that by the time the farmers organise themselves and get going his complaint will be totally different, and if he comes to get protection from me, I am his man. Deputy Johnson and other Deputies pointed out that it is not absolutely essential that the two schemes, grading and the national brand, should be regarded as if they were mutually destructive. They are not. Deputy Wilson, I think it was, said that the real difference is as to whether we are taking adequate steps to protect the brand and to see that the butter when it comes in branded, from the creamery, is up to the standard, and he asked me what we had done to ensure that butter bearing the brand and leaving this country will be up to the standard.

I ask what is to happen if butter with the brand not up to the standard gets to England?


I agree with the Deputy that that is the real point. The real point was to ensure that the butter bearing the brand is up to the standard. I am prepared to give, and the Bill as it stands gives, ample power to examine the butter at the ports. If it was found necessary to make regulations which would enable us to examine the butter at the ports we can do so. Further, if there are any amendments needed in that direction I am satisfied to accept them. That, therefore, definitely ought to remove one very big grievance which the creamery managers have against the branding, that is, against the abuse of branding. If there are any amendments necessary to enable us more effectively to make an examination of the butter bearing the national brand at the ports, I am willing to accept that amendment. If it is found that we are making the Bill water-tight in that direction, at least let us hear no more about the contention that butter bearing the national brand may go out and not be up to the standard. I am willing to accept an amendment in this form:—

(1) The Minister may, if and whenever he is satisfied that such order is necessary or expedient in the interest of the butter industry in Saorstát Eireann, by order (in this section referred to as an examination order) require that all or any particular class of butter proposed to be exported, or all or any butter proposed to be exported from any particular premises or class or premises, or any particular consignment of butter consigned for export, should, before the same is exported, be submitted for examination by the prescribed officers with a view to determining whether such butter is suitable for export, and the Minister may by such order prohibit either absolutely or on failure to comply with conditions, the export of any butter which on such examination is found to be unsuitable for exportation.

(2) The Minister may by any examination order or by any subsequent order make regulations in respect of all or any of the matters following, that is to say—

(a) the method of submitting butter to which an examination order applies for examination, including the submission in suitable cases of representative parts only of the butter.

(b) the officers by whom the examination is to be made.

(c) the method of making the examination, and the places in which the same is to be made.

(d) the conditions with which the butter must comply in order to be suitable for export.

(e) the conditions under which butter found unsuitable for unrestricted export may be exported.

(3) An examination order shall remain in force for such period as shall be stated in the order, and for such further period as may be prescribed in any subsequent order, and where no such period is stated in the order, the order shall remain in force until revoked by the Minister.

(4) Any person who shall export or attempt to export any butter in contravention of an examination order or of any regulation made under this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section, and shall on summary conviction thereof be liable, in the case of a first offence, to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds, and in the case of a second or any subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

Now, in that case, it gives us power to say that butter bearing the national brand shall only be exported on certain conditions.

Shall it not also give power to grade as well?


I do not think it goes as far as that, but we can examine that afterwards. For the purpose of the present point it gives us power, if we find it necessary, in order to examine it more conveniently, that all the butter should go to certain ports, and there will be power to have the butter sent through certain ports. So that as far as the Bill is concerned it is at least as water-tight as any grading scheme for the purpose of seeing that butter bearing the national brand shall be up to the standard. Now, is that point definitely clear? That decision ought, and should, allay at once a considerable amount of apprehension that causes a considerable amount of talk. Now, while I am on that point, I want to say in regard to the statement that this Bill is a skeleton, that it in reality contains 41 sections.

It has a good deal of bones in it certainly.


It is a fairly substantial skeleton, and I am asked why we should not make it more detailed. Take that section I have just read out for you. Is it contended that we should insert the regulations in the section? It may be that on examination of the Bill certain clauses could be made closer. That will appear on examination of the Bill during Committee. But I think it will be found on examination of the Bill that it will not require very much alteration in that direction, and that it will be found impossible to deal with the subject in any other way than by regulation. I am willing to accept an amendment provided that regulations shall be laid on the Table of the Dáil.

Will you accept the amendment regarding the Advisory Council?


We will come to that, I have not said that I am taking power to grade at the ports. That may be the effect of the amendment which has been roughly drafted. But I am taking power to examine the butter at the ports in order to make it absolutely certain that all the butter bearing the national brand is up to the standard. I hope that it will not be necessary, and I hope that as a result of the education, inspection, and so on, that all the creameries to which we give the national brand will be reliable enough, or will be sufficiently reliable in the way of turning out butter which is worthy of the national brand, and that we will not have to go to the trouble and expense of examining all that butter at the ports. But if it is found by experience that examination is necessary we will have the powers there. I do not wish, and we do not intend or contemplate, that the butter shall be graded at the ports. Grading is a different thing from examination. You grade butter according to three or four classes. We do not intend that. There is only one grade exported from Denmark.

Are they State-controlled?


They are, yes. There is only one grade exported from Denmark. We allow two. First of all we allow the export on the national brand butter. That is the first grade. We allow the export of butter which is not up to the national brand, but is good enough for export. That is the second grade. Our scheme is not nearly as tight, and is not nearly as rigid, as the Danish scheme. In fact, if you consider the butter that is being made at the present moment, we are dividing the butter into three classes—first, the butter that is fit for the national brand creamery butter; second, the butter which is not fit for the national brand but which is good enough for export; and third, butter which we hope will disappear entirely as a result of the regulations in regard to equipment and technical competence which we intend to make. Considering the butter which is being turned out at the present moment, we are grading into three classes, as against the Danish one. We must aim at the Danish standard. Consistency and standardisation are more important than having a very few producing a really choice butter, a large majority producing a middling butter, and a considerable minority producing a very bad inferior butter. The fact that the national brand is on the butter and that in order to get the national brand it will have to receive 92 marks out of 100, does not prevent the possibility of turning out butter worth 96 or 98 marks and getting a better price for that than for the butter passed at 92 marks. The point is that the butter nationally branded is guaranteed up to the standard of 92 per cent. Deputy Heffernan wants to know whether butter made from cream collected at creamery gathering stations should be exported. Of course it can. Creamery gathering stations are registered.

Is it referred to in the Bill?



Might I interject a question? Will it be permitted by the Bill for cream to be gathered at the farms and brought to the creamery to be manufactured into butter there?


As the Bill is drafted at present that is not proposed. That was a different point from the point made by Deputy Heffernan.

That is just what I meant—cream gathered at the farms.

Do you not take power to give the brand to any particular class of butter in addition to this?


I do. I thought that the Deputy was dealing with creamery gathered at the stations registered.

I do not mean auxiliary stations.


I am not talking of auxiliaries. I am talking of other stations.

The Minister has referred to cream being separated by the farmer. Does the Minister mean if that cream is taken to the creamery and pasteurised, it will come under the brand? If it is pasteurised after being separated by the farmer at his own place, will it be entitled to come under the brand?


Cream does not come under the brand. It is the butter made from the cream that is branded. Certain creameries will get a brand. There will be regulations made probably in regard to methods, and the purity of the milk that a farmer produces. There will be general regulations not set out in the Bill in regard to the matter which Deputy Heffernan raises and to which Deputy Duffy has referred.

I understand the brand will only apply to creamery butter. The Bill says: "The expression creamery business means the business of manufacturing butter from cream which has been separated by means of a centrifugal force mechanically applied from the commingled milk supplies of a number of cow keepers." That means that it must be made from milk supplied, not from cream?


Yes. What section is the Deputy referring to?

Section 2, line 33. Does not that exclude cream gathering stations from the use of the brand—places at which the cream is gathered as cream and not as milk?


The misconception is evidently because you are talking of cream gathering stations, which are really creameries. I refer to places where cream is gathered and taken from there to the creameries.

I regard the creamery as the station to which the cream is brought.

A good many of those points raised are Committee points.

But we want to raise them now.

I would submit, with all respect, that there is an important question of principle involved.

In Wexford there are many instances where cream is separated at the home of the supplier, and it is taken to a central creamery and manufactured into butter there. We want to know how does that class of place come in under the Bill. That is what Deputy Duffy and myself have in mind. There is a considerable number of places such as I have mentioned in counties that are not dairy counties but which are aiming at being dairy counties and which are unable to set up a large central creamery.


Clearly in that case the butter is not entitled to the national brand, as the Bill stands, the reason being that cream separated in a farmer's house every day is not, as a rule, brought to the creamery daily. It may not be brought for three or four days. The farmer has to bring his milk to the creamery daily because he has a large quantity, but in the case of cream he may keep it for four or five days in order to have a big quantity, but in the meantime it may get stale. It is not as easy to do that with milk. In the summer time a farmer may have anything up to 50 or 60 gallons of milk and in the winter time he may have between 15 and 20 gallons. All that milk is taken to the creamery each day. If he happens to have a few gallons of cream he will hold it over until he is able to supplement it and bring 10 or 15 gallons to the creamery. There is a danger in those circumstances of the cream getting stale in the homes of the farmers, and the butter, as a consequence, would taste.

The Minister, of course, is aware that the greater portion of butter made in New Zealand is made on the system I suggest; that is, it is gathered in the form of cream from various places. In many parts of the country it is not a practical proposition to send the milk.

Would the Minister look up Sub-section 4 of Clause 28, in which the following quotation occurs —"and such other premises as the Minister may, if and when he thinks fit, by order, declare to be authorised premises for the purposes of the use of the national mark."


That does not really cover it. It was not the intention in the Bill to encourage the collection of cream in the farmers' homes and keep it there for four or five days before sending it to the creamery. It is quite possible that section might be used for the purpose of giving the national brand even in cases like this, but I may point out that that was not intended. It is considered that it is not wise to encourage the separating of cream in the homes and the taking of it to the creameries every four or five days, as always does happen, because the cream in those circumstances becomes stale.

Have you an open mind on this point?


I have. I am just briefly putting forward those points. Now, with regard to the Council, what does the Deputy require? Is it a Consulting Committee or an Administrative Council?

Not administrative.


Yes, advisory.


Purely advisory. I agree an Advisory Council is necessary, and that the constitution of that Council must be very carefully thought out. When it comes to setting up that Council, there will not be the same unanimity between the creamery managers and the Farmers' Party as there is now.

There is not any unanimity.


It is important that there should be an Advisory Council, but the constitution of it is going to be an extremely difficult matter, and that cannot be dealt with in this Bill. It will have to be dealt with separately. I have asked the interests concerned to put up a definite scheme, and though they profess to want an Advisory Committee, when the scheme arrives you will find there will be something else. Their scheme is that the Department should take the responsibility and they will do the administering. That will not do. I see the necessity for an Advisory Council, but I want to see a first-class Advisory Council set up, and if there is, I want to see that the Minister for Agriculture will have full advantage of their advice. It is essential to realise that it is necessary to have the intelligent co-operation of all the interests concerned for the administration of a Bill like this.

Can the Minister say by whom will this Council be established, and under whose authority will it be selected?


You are asking me what is to be the constitution of it? Obviously the producer should be represented, and obviously the creameries should be represented. Obviously also there are other interests that should be represented. Perhaps the workers might want representation.

Does the Minister suggest that it is to be done by regulation or by the introduction of another Act here? By what means does he suggest it should be set up?


I will not go into the means, but I say it certainly cannot be done, and it is not intended to do it by regulation, and it is not intended to do it by this Bill. But I say it must be done and I am not now prepared to say how.

I apologise for interrupting again on this question of creamery-gathering stations, but my reason for doing so is so that if possible certain conditions should be laid down in the Bill whereby those stations would come in for the brand on compliance with those conditions. An attempt has not been made in the Bill, and perhaps the matter has not been raised at all until now, whereby the provisions of the Bill could extend to those. We want the Minister to inquire how far certain conditions could be laid down that would give these people the brand, because we have creameries of that description, and they are very likely to multiply.


As Deputy Wilson pointed out, the Bill gives power to give a brand in special cases and under special regulations. I thought that was clear. But I did say that it was not contemplated to give a brand in the circumstances. However, we can argue that in Committee. I have an open mind on the matter; I am giving you reasons against it. We can argue that in Committee, and we can have all the reasons for it. With regard to delay and with regard to this question of allowing a considerable time to clapse before the Committee Stage is taken, I know this is a very important Bill, a very big Bill, a very heavy Bill, and that ample time should be given for the Committee Stage, but a month is out of the question, and there is no reason for it. We might as well be frank with one another. It is easy to talk about the far-reaching effects of this Bill, and we all, Deputy Milroy, the Farmer Deputies, and the rest of us know that what is between us is this question of grading, and we know that that question of grading has been examined and re-examined for the last four or five years, has been examined by the Farmers' Unions, has been examined by the Agricultural Commission, has been examined by everybody who takes any interest in the industry, and there is no use in coming here now and pretending that it is an absolutely new issue, that you require time to consider it. I would be sorry to think that the Farmers' Party have not taken the trouble to get the facts about these particular things before this.

Some of us got them two or three years ago.


Very well. That is the real point. But if it was a perfectly new point, and if Deputies could not be expected to know the facts in regard to it before now I would agree that a month should be given between this and the Committee Stage; but it is not a new point.

When I made the appeal for a month I had not the question of grading in my mind at all. There are several other provisions in the Bill, and it was for the whole Bill and not for this particular part at all.


There we are, back to that point again. It is well known that the Bill is really not a contentious Bill, except in regard to that point. Everybody knows that.

It may not be contententious, but it can be amended.


If we had not this big grading issue Deputies would not be entitled to more than the normal time between the Second Reading and the Committee, that is to say, about a week.

The normal time for this country.


But this issue, I agree, is a very important issue, and perhaps it requires a little longer time, and when we are considering that we might give a little longer time to it. The principle of this issue has been before Deputies in every shape and form for the last two years, and as far as I am concerned I would suggest, in the event of the Second Stage being passed now, that to have the Committee Stage on next Monday week would be very reasonable.

Would the Minister say something as to this question of the cost of alterations, the amount of money that will be involved in the alterations that the creameries will have to make, and the cost of administration?


I should have said something on that point. Of course, the Bill will have to be administered very carefully. We may make regulations, and we may make them more or less drastic, and when the creameries are examined one of the considerations which the Ministry will have to take into account undoubtedly is the cost of making these changes in equipment. Deputies can take it that that will be fully borne in mind and that we are not going to rush in immediately after the Bill is passed and ask creameries which are in a shaky condition to spend a lot of money in new equipment and matters of that sort. That will be taken into consideration.

What about the Trade Facilities Act they are bringing in next month?


I do not know that it is relevant.

Will they not get money there?


I am well aware of the conditions of some of the creameries in the South. I know they are not by any means in a healthy condition, some of them. We must take into account when issuing our regulations the cost of equipment. That must be borne in mind. It will be borne in mind, and from that point of view we are not going to proceed too fast. The equipment necessary for the mere licence is not going to be very expensive.

I would ask the Minister to agree to at least this day fortnight.

That question can be raised after the Second Reading is passed.

perhaps the Minister would refer to the methods advocated by Deputy Hewat. I believe these antique methods have been discarded in New Zealand, Denmark and other progressive countries. I think he had better say something about that.

Perhaps the question of the Second Reading had better be taken first. I was going to raise the question of whether the Bill would not be of the kind that would be better considered by a Special Committee rather than a Committee of the whole House.

Question—"That the Bill be read a second time"—put and agreed to.

May I suggest, notwithstanding the Minister's view—that apart from the question of grading it is non-contentious—that the very fact that it is non-contentious in principle may involve a close examination of the details, and such examination which is more or less technical, could be better done in a Special Committee than in a Committee of the whole House. Probably the Minister will not disagree that a larger number than would be usual of farmers' representatives should be on that Special Committee.


On the face of it, I think Deputy Johnson's suggestion is a sound one. Supposing we fix the date of the Committee Stage now, we could probably decide that question by to-morrow. It seems to me that that would be a better way of doing it. I will compromise with Deputy Gorey. He suggested this day fornight.

resumed the Chair.

I suggested a month, and as a compromise I suggested this day fortnight.


Say Wednesday week.

And that the Bill be referred to a Special Committee.


Does that require a motion?

It can be done now. We can leave over the fixing of the date of the Committee until to-morrow if the Minister wishes.

May I suggest if the ordinary course is adopted of referring this to Committee, it would be possible to revise that decision on further consideration and detail a Special Committee for the purpose.

It would of course.


The Deputy's suggestion is to refer it now to a Special Committee.

The reverse.


I would prefer that. I do not like agreeing absolutely with anybody so I will suggest Wednesday week for the Committee Stage. I think that will meet Deputy Gorey. We can consider to-morrow the question of whether it is to be referred to a Special Committee.

Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, July 2nd.


I move that the sitting be suspended until 7.30 p.m..

Sitting suspended at 6.50 p.m.
The Dáil resumed at 7.30,AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE in the Chair.