Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Export Outlets for Irish Butter.

Wednesday, 28 February 1962

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 193 No. 5

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41.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  asked the Minister for Agriculture whether any further progress has been made in negotiations for export outlets for Irish butter; whether An Bord Bainne has completed its examination of suggestions for the exchange of butter for commodities produced by Eastern European countries; and, if so, what were the results of such examination.

42.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  asked the Minister for Agriculture whether any further negotiations have been held with the British Government with regard to the importation into Britain of Irish butter; and, if so, what progress has been made up to the present in any such negotiations.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 42 together.

As regards the British market, I would refer the Deputy to the official announcement issued on the 26th [731] February about the removal of the Anti-Dumping Duty on Irish butter entering the United Kingdom market.

The inquiries received by An Bord Bainne concerning the exchange of butter for commodities from Eastern Europe are still being pursued.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Has the Minister any idea of what changes there may be after 31st March?

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  He has not.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  He only knows what is going to happen to Irish butter up to 31st March?

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  Yes.

Mr. McQuillan: Information on John McQuillan  Zoom on John McQuillan  Is it not a fact that the British Government were prepared to take this quantity of butter, and much more, months ago?

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  Under different conditions.

Mr. McQuillan: Information on John McQuillan  Zoom on John McQuillan  What was the change?

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  The official statement makes that clear.

Mr. McQuillan: Information on John McQuillan  Zoom on John McQuillan  The official announcement was as clear as mud.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  I would advise the Deputy to read it again.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  We could have sent out 4,000 tons of butter, if they had made up their minds weeks ago.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  Do not put on an act for the gallery.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  If the Minister did not blow his top, we would not be in this trouble at all. I hope he will keep his head the next time.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  I would have no top to blow if milk were 1/- a gallon as the Deputy proposed some years ago.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  It will be 3d. a gallon if the Minister is left there much longer.

Mr. McQuillan: Information on John McQuillan  Zoom on John McQuillan  Would the Minister [732] solve a mathematical problem for me by telling me when did the figure of 2,400 tons become as big as 4,000 tons?

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  That question should be easy enough for the Deputy to answer.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Can the Minister say if it is proposed to enter into any discussions after 31st March?

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  It would be excellent indeed if Deputies would assume that everything will be all right until somebody challenges free entry.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Surely the Minister could give a civil reply to a civil question?

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  He is not capable of giving a civil reply.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  Surely the Deputy if he reads the announcement will know what the position is.

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  There is no use asking questions of the Minister, if he is not allowed to reply.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  I am anxious to hear Deputy Galvin make his maiden speech.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  The announcement says that these arrangements do not imply any modification of the attitude of either Government. If the necessity arises after the 31st March discussions will take place at a later date on the question of the export of Irish butter to the United Kingdom. What could be clearer than that?


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