asked the Minister for Transport and Power whether he is aware that haulage of whole milk and skim milk to and from creameries is exempt from road transport restrictions, but that whole cream is not; and whether, in order to facilitate modernisation of creamery organisation and efficiency, he will also exempt whole cream on the same basis as whole and skim milk are at present exempted.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Haulage of Milk to Creameries.
Under the provisions of Section 2 (2) of the Transport (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1955, the carriage of whole milk to, and separated milk from creameries is exempt from the restrictions on carriage for reward contained in Section 9 of the Road Transport Act, 1933.
I am not aware of any necessity for the extension of this exemption to include whole cream, which would, in any event, require the enactment of new legislation.
Is the Minister aware that within the past week a cooperative creamery society in my constituency was convicted on a charge involving the illegal haulage of cream and that this charge arose because the creamery in question, in an effort at rationalising and modernising the processing of milk in this area, had an arrangement whereby it purchased cream from two independent auxiliaries and the creamery broke the law because it employed a private haulier? Is the Minister further aware that this private lorry-owner did the job for £3 10s. per day whereas the C.I.E. quotation for the same job was £7 10s. per weekday and £8 15s. for Sunday and that the employment of C.I.E. at the figures quoted would have rendered this operation uneconomic? Is the Minister further aware that as a result of the conviction the creamery in question has now had to purchase a truck at a cost of £500 and it will have to employ a driver to do this job which only takes three hours per day? Surely the Minister will agree——
This is a speech.
——in view of the need to rationalise and modernise the creamery industry, that any experiment of this nature should not be hamstrung by red tape?
I have been informed by the Minister for Agriculture that in general there does not seem to be any reason why the creamery using either its own transport or using a licensed haulier cannot carry out this transport effectively.
Does the Minister not realise that the creamery industry, wishing, like every other industry, to rationalise itself by eliminating the operation of transporting water in the skim milk and whole milk and transport instead concentrated cream, finds the Transport Act invoked in order to constrain them to go back to carrying water and prevent them carrying whole cream? Surely that is insane? If we have agreed to exempt whole milk and skim milk, it is utterly daft to refuse to exempt whole cream as between a creamery and its auxiliary?
I have consulted the Minister for Agriculture in this matter but in view of the Deputy's representation, I shall have further inquiries made. The Minister for Agriculture is well aware of the necessity for rationalising the whole of the creamery industry as far as possible. I shall bring it to his attention again to see if legislation is necessary.
And if so recommended by the Minister for Agriculture, do I take it that the Minister for Transport and Power will submit legislation to the House putting whole cream in the same position as whole milk or skim milk?
I shall naturally consider the matter sympathetically.