asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he will inquire of the Pigs Marketing Board whether they considered the several matters set out in Section 140 of the Pigs and Bacon Act before fixing the price for pork (a) for the October-November period, (b) for the December period.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Price of Pork.
I have no reason to suppose that the Pigs Marketing Board have not complied with the statutory obligations imposed on them by Section 140 of the Pigs and Bacon Act, 1935.
Arising out of that answer, may I ask the Minister if his attention has been directed to the statement which appeared in the public Press, and which has not been contradicted, by a member of the Pigs Marketing Board, made at a public meeting, that he did not consider any of the matters set out in Section 140 of the Pigs and Bacon Act; and in view of that public statement will the Minister address the inquiry, which I have asked him to address, to the Pigs Marketing Board?
I did not see that paper, and I would like to know where that statement appeared.
I can tell the Minister——
The Deputy had better communicate that to the Minister, and for this reason: if they are an autonomous board set up by the Legislature, it would be unwise that the actions of members of such a board should be discussed in this House. It is equivalent to such action to give dates by which a member or members of such a board could be identified. I suggest that the Deputy should communicate the information to the Minister.
I shall promptly depart from that question. But with great respect I cannot be taken, in any sense, as agreeing with the Chair in the view that the Pigs Marketing Board is an autonomous board in any way, such as the Electricity Supply Board is. I would respectfully inform the Chair that it was the purpose, and I believe the successful purpose, of the Opposition throughout that Bill to secure that autonomy similar to that enjoyed by the Electricity Supply Board would not be conferred upon the Pigs Marketing Board or the Bacon Board. However, I shall comply with your ruling.