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Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Friday, 12 Mar 1948

Vol. 34 No. 25

Milk Yield of Dairy Stock—Motion (Resumed).

Debate resumed on the following motion in the name of Senator Counihan:—
That in view of the statement recently made by the Minister for Agriculture in regard to premiums for pedigree shorthorn bulls, the Seanad now considers that immediate steps should be taken with a view to increasing the milk yield of dairy stock without detriment to the quality of our beef cattle and suggests to the Minister that this objective would be promoted by giving a bonus of £10 to the owner, for every cow of the shorthorn breed certified by an inspector of a recognised cow-testing association as having produced 600 gallons of milk or 210 lbs. of butter fat within 12 months and which has not been previously certified as producing this record; and also that a bonus of £15 be paid to the owner for every cow of the Kerry breed producing 500 gallons of milk or 180 lbs. of butter fat.

I do not see much use in discussing this motion any further as the Minister for Agriculture is not here. I must say that I was rather disappointed with his attitude and his whole approach to the subject of the motion. His speech, to a great extent, was most inconsistent. He said that the granting of this bonus to the farmers would make paupers of them. If that be so why is that argument not carried to its logical conclusion? Why give premiums for bulls and boars? Why should not the man who has a good cow be entitled to get a bonus since he is entitled to a premium if he has a good bull? If he has a good cow and takes her to a show he may win a prize with her. I think that the whole tone of the Minister's speech was very inconsistent. The agricultural community thought that in the Minister they had found a worthy successor of the late Paddy Hogan.

The Minister disappointed us very much on this motion. He said that any proposal that would be put up to increase cow-testing would be considered favourably by him. One of my reasons for putting down this motion was to increase cow-testing. Nobody could benefit under my proposal unless he was in a cow-testing association. An extension of these associations is necessary if we are to increase milk production, and we know that everybody wants more milk and more butter. Yet when a proposal of that kind is put up it is turned down by the Minister without giving it the smallest consideration. All that I can do now is to make my protest against the way the motion was treated and ask the leave of the House to withdraw it.

I do not think the Senator is quite fair to the Minister. The Minister was here yesterday and sat through the whole debate. I think that, without discussing the merits of the motion, Senator Counihan got a fair show from the Minister, who had to leave to vote in a division in the Dáil. The Minister was not aware, and indeed none of us was aware as to when the debate on the Central Fund Bill would conclude here to-day. Therefore, he was naturally not able to come here to-day. The Minister did not intend any discourtesy to the House or to Senator Counihan. I think that Senator Counihan appears to get from every Minister for Agriculture a very fine hearing indeed.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
The Seanad adjourned at 5.30 p.m.sine die.