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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Friday, 10 Jun 1960

Vol. 182 No. 8

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Subsidy on Fat Stock.


asked the Minister for Agriculture when the subsidy of 6/6d. per live cwt. on fat stock will become operative; and if he will indicate to whom it will be payable.

The scheme of guarantee payments in respect of fat cattle exported will come into operation on the first Monday in July. Any payments that fall to be made under the scheme will be made to the exporter of the animals in question. I should add, for the Deputy's information, that the guarantee payments will not be 6s. 6d. per live cwt. They will be amounts related to the British guarantee payments made from time to time on Irish once-tested store cattle, abated by 6s. 6d. per live cwt.

Would the Minister indicate if there would be any retrospective payments for the cattle sold fat prior to 1st July?

There would not.

Does the Minister not appreciate the fact that those who fattened their cattle, store fed them, last winter will be at the disadvantage of having to take a lesser price?

He does not.

May I explain it to the Minister?

Apparently the Minister does not understand my question.

That is not the point.

It is a pity——

A debate at Question Time is not in order.

The Minister spoke of the British guaranteed price, abated by 6/6d. per live cwt., being paid to those who export fat cattle for immediate slaughter. Will a corresponding payment be made to those who butcher cattle in Ireland, either for export as carcass ment or for consumption on the home market?

For export, yes, but the home market presents some difficulty. Although Question Time is a very useful institution in a deliberative assembly, it is not designed to allow of explanation of the kind of intricate work associated with schemes of this nature. Therefore, it would not really be possible to explain by question and answer across the floor of the House the workings of such a scheme. All I can say is that in the preparation of a scheme of this type, full and adequate discussions for the purpose of securing agreement are carried on between all the interests concerned.

I trust the Minister will advert to the fact that the official Opposition in Dáil Éireann have an interest in this matter and, therefore, are one of the Parties entitled to some consultation and information. I appreciate the Minister's difficulty, but is it not a fact that the scheme is three parts formulated, but there are certain outstanding details that have to be settled? We may take it that the payments will be made in respect of cattle exported for immediate slaughter and cattle slaughtered at home for export in the form of carcass meat and that the question of cattle slaughtered at home for domestic consumption is still outstanding and under review? Would that be correct?

That is about where we stand.

I am glad to have been able to help the Minister.