Wednesday, 15 March 1933
Seanad Éireann Debate
the expression “millable wheat” means wheat which is sound and in fair condition, commercially clean as regards admixture and tailings, and commercially free from heated or mouldy grains or objectionable taint, and capable of being manufactured into a sound and sweet flour fit for human consumption having regard to the customary methods employed in the milling industry for cleaning and conditioning wheat.
In this amendment I am suggesting a definition. I think that one is necessary at this stage. The Minister stated that the millers would normally require the best quality of wheat for milling purposes, but circumstances may arise where it might be necessary that they should take an inferior article. Later, in Section 6 the Minister takes power to define “millable wheat.” I think, in face of the statements made by the Minister, that it is our responsibility to ensure that in no circumstances will there be a lowering of the standard of the flour consumed by our people, possibly a lowering below that consumed by the people across the water. The definition which I propose to insert in the Bill is one that was arrived at by the Wheat Commission under the Wheat Act of 1922 in England. It is a definition which, whether it fails or not, has been adopted by a big Commission composed of all interests and appointed by a Government and a people who have the experience of feeding 40,000,000 persons. I think the essential words in the definition are “capable of being manufactured into a sound and sweet flour fit for human consumption.” If, as is suggested in Section 6, a definition is to be found later on, I see no reason why it should not be inserted now. The two  Ministers who are going to decide on this definition under Section 6 stated in the Dáil that it would be ready in four or five months' time. I suggest that is good reason why they should meet the House on this, accept this definition or put in something else instead.
Minister for Agriculture (Dr. Ryan): The difficulty in this connection is that if we put in a definition as a section in the Bill and found it unsatisfactory afterwards we would have to come back with an amending Bill to have it altered. As the Bill stands we must, I am informed by the draftsman, make regulations with a definition—the word “may” in that particular section to be interpreted as “shall.” Therefore, the Minister has no alternative but to find a definition for what is millable wheat, and to have it issued by regulation before the cereal year commences. It is true, as the Senator said, that we gave a promise in the Dáil to have a definition. I do not know whether we said we would have it in four or five months. I think we said we would have it when required. As the Bill stands, there was no necessity to have the definition until we were issuing the regulations, and they cannot be issued until the Bill becomes law.
There is a great difficulty, as every Senator must know, in framing a definition that will be satisfactory. The definition proposed by the Senator does not bring us very much closer to the purpose for which it was framed. I think the definition itself is fairly close to the one inserted in the British Act. The amendment states “the expression ‘millable’ means wheat which is sound and in fair condition.” There would not, perhaps, be very much dispute about that, but it goes on to say “commercially clean as regards admixture and tailings, and commercially free from heated or mouldy grains or objectionable taint.” The words “commercially free” would, I take it, require a definition themselves. Then the amendment goes on to speak of “capable of being manufactured into a sound and sweet flour fit for human consumption having regard to the customary methods employed in the  milling industry for cleaning and conditioning wheat.” The words “customary methods employed” would also require a definition, and also the words “cleaning and conditioning wheat.” These latter words might lead to a certain amount of trouble and we might need to have a definition of them. The same remark applies to almost any definition.
When you get a definition you find that there are expressions in it that require to be defined. Although we do not expect to have any great difficulty in getting a definition of what millable wheat is, we do fear that we may not be able to get the ideal definition. We shall find a definition, and this will be in the regulations to be issued. We may find from experience that there was some little matter that should have been referred to in our definition, and we would like to have the power, by a new regulation, to alter it, say, for the second year. If we were to adopt any definition at this stage and put it into the Bill we might find it very difficult to alter it afterwards. Senators know that it is a much more difficult proposition to come forward with a new Bill than it is to come forward with new regulations. I think the Bill as it stands, as far as the definition of millable wheat is concerned, is more satisfactory than it would be if the amendment were inserted. We are advised that we must issue some definition, but we think it better to issue it in regulations than in the Bill.
Mr. Jameson: The real point is: will the House have an opportunity of discussing these regulations containing the definition when they are issued? What everybody is concerned with is that no wheat is milled that is not fit for human consumption. If a definition could be brought forward which would ensure that, then the object of this Bill would be gained. I read some of the speeches the Minister made on this Bill. In one he said that he might have to lower the standard a bit because of the condition of the wheat which the harvest had produced. Anybody who knows anything  about the growing of wheat in this country can well understand that such a state of affairs might arise. If the House is not to have an opportunity of discussing the regulations containing the definition, a definition that should ensure that any wheat passed is millable wheat and is thoroughly fit for human consumption, then the object that everyone has in view will not be gained. I think if we had an assurance that we would have an opportunity of discussing the regulations when made we might leave this matter over.
Dr. Ryan: As the Senator knows, all such regulations must be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas. Any matter such as he refers to could be raised within twenty-one sitting days in the case of either House. Any Senator wishing to raise a discussion on the regulations can put down a motion for the revision or the rejection of any regulation made.
Mr. Johnson: As to the regulations, I would point out to the Minister and, incidentally, to Senator Jameson that the likelihood of regulations coming before this House is not very great because the House has not been in the past, at any rate, concerned in ensuring that regulations shall be brought before it. There have been proposals made which would ensure that the House would almost automatically consider regulations of this kind when made, but the House in its wisdom thought them unnecessary and preferred to leave it to every individual Senator to examine these regulations and bring them before the House themselves if they thought it desirable. But, as is well-known, individual Senators do not, with very great frequency at any rate, undertake that function. Unless Senator Jameson, for one, can assure the House that there will be an examination of these regulations, and that if there is any fault to be found in them he will guarantee that they will be brought forward, I am inclined to think much will not be done. Perhaps Senator Jameson and his colleagues would be in favour of the establishment of some machinery for ensuring that these regulations will be  examined. I wonder would I be able to draw the Senator on that point?
Mr. Johnson: I would point out that under Part II of the Bill the regulations will be laid on the Table. It is the function of the Senator to examine those regulations, and if he finds anything defective in them to bring them before the House. I thought at one time that the House would have jumped at the chance of establishing machinery which would ensure that all these regulations would be examined by a Committee of the House, but the Senator and his colleagues were against that. Now the onus lies upon him to examine these particular regulations and bring them before the House if there is anything faulty about them.
Mr. Jameson: This is a vital matter concerning the food of the people and differs altogether from some of the matters that Senator Johnson has in mind. I do not think the Minister or anybody else would be inclined to make regulations that they did not want discussed. I imagine that the whole Seanad would be concerned to take care that the food of the people was looked after. I would imagine that regulations of the kind, if not properly drawn up, would be criticised in the Press, and that attention would be called to them by people keenly concerned about the food of the people.
The McGillycuddy: I do not press the amendment. Arising out of what the Minister said I just wish to refer to the speech he made on the 7th December, that “within the next four or five months I am going to bring in a definition of millable wheat.” I think it is a pity that after three months and five days the Minister is not yet in a position to take us into his confidence on that particular matter. He must have  something in his mind. It is a pity that his colleague, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, should have disappeared from the House at this critical moment, and that we do not know before the scheme is started what the class of wheat will be from which the food of the people is to be made. I do not want to obstruct but I think that before I withdraw the amendment the Minister should give us some indication as to what the definition of millable wheat is likely to be.
Dr. Ryan: I think this amendment would be necessary when we come to discuss a later section dealing with maize when used as human food to which a number of amendments will be discussed. There is no necessity for discussing it now, except to say that we want to have the possibility recognised of “maize germ meal” being recognised as human food, if necessary. SECTION 6
The Minister for Agriculture, after consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, may by order make regulations prescribing the standard to which wheat must conform in order to be classed as millable and references in this Act to millable wheat shall be construed as meaning wheat which conforms to the standard prescribed by such regulations.
Dr. Ryan: It would only be in very extraordinary circumstances that the definition would be altered during the cereal year. At the end of the cereal year it might be altered, having gained experience of its working, but we would certainly give notice to the millers and to all concerned. We would not alter the definition suddenly.
Dr. Ryan: Supposing we discovered some fraud being perpetrated that we had not foreseen, that would be the only thing that would induce us to alter the definition during the cereal year. I may say that the definition would be drawn up after consultation with all concerned, particularly the millers.
(c) oats (if any) included therein is in the prescribed form, and if no form is for the time being prescribed is in one or other of the following forms, that is to say, the entire product derived from grinding such oats or the entire product derived from grinding the kernels of oats;
 The components of the mixture will have to be gathered on the premises and under the terms of a later section an inspector has the right to visit the premises. He can go there and determine whether the mixture is right or not. For milling purposes the maize may be ground by itself, and after milling mixed with home-grown cereals to make the prescribed admixture. The miller must be entitled to mix his cereals and maize independently. The section at present reads that no man dare bring on his premises any of the component parts of maize meal mixture until he has them so mixed that they comply with the specification. The only check should be the check which operates at the moment of sale. There can be no criminal intent on the part of the miller until he offers the mixture for sale, so that customers are protected. It is quite clear that in the process of milling the miller may have maize meal mixture which does not conform with the regulations. I do not think he should be compelled to show it to the inspector until he offers it for sale.
Mr. Johnson: May I point out that if the word “maize” is left in without meal when we come to the definition clause it would read that maize means maize but not grain. The section would then read “made solely from maize and any home-grown cereal or cereals.” That seems to be a contradiction. If it is meal it is a mixture of maize and grain and some  other component part. Surely the mixture must mean a mixture of meals and not grain.
It is difficult to determine whether the cereal was clean and was up to the prescribed standard. The quality varies. There is no such thing as a standard in commercial use. It is a matter of personal judgement. This section is much the same as the one about millable wheat. If you compel a miller to do anything but what is commercially sound you will want to have a lot of commercial definitions. The paragraph should be deleted. This is not for human food but for feeding for cattle. No miller will put anything into the mixture except what he can sell.
Dr. Ryan: I think it is necessary to have some clause in the Bill to which we could draw the miller's attention if we have to complain about the condition of the home-grown cereals he is using. As a matter of fact, when the scheme was being spoken of in the beginning some millers brought samples of what maize meal mixtures would be like, and I am quite certain that they did not use home-grown cereals that were in sound condition. I know that they were very anxious  to prejudice me against the whole scheme. It is quite possible that it will be used for human food. Since the scheme has been working I heard of a very serious complaint made by a man in Kerry who was buying what he thought was pure maize for his wife and family, but who after a month or five weeks found out that he had been buying a mixture which included oats. If we can get that sort of perfection by millers using such good oats we will have reached some stage of perfection.
Every regulation made under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution is passed by either House of the Oireachtas within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat annulling such regulation, such regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything done previously under such regulation.
Cathaoirleach: Amendments 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are all directed to the same point. The section deals with the laying of regulations before the House until annulled by resolution of either House. I think it would be better if Senators dealt with amendments 5 or 6.
13. No order or regulation made under this Act shall come into operation until it has been laid before each House of the Oireachtas and has been approved by resolution of each such House.—(Senator O'Rourke.)
 13. No order or regulation made under this Act shall come into operation until it has been laid before each House of the Oireachtas, and has been before each such House for not less than the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat, unless it has earlier been approved by resolution of each such House.—(Senator O'Rourke.)
8. Section 13. To delete all after the word “accordingly” in line 17 down to the end of the section and to substitute therefor the words “but if no such annulling resolution is passed by either House of the Oireachtas within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat, such order or regulation shall then come into operation.”—(Senator O'Rourke.)
9. Section 13. To delete all after the word “accordingly” in line 17 down to the end of the section and to substitute therefor the words “and anything previously done under such regulation shall be invalidated by such annulling resolution.”—(Senator O'Rourke.)
Mr. O'Rourke: I move amendment 5. This amendment has a bearing on a discussion that took place on an earlier section between Senator Jameson and Senator Johnson on the question that the Minister should be compelled to bring forward a resolution and the regulations and get them approved by the Houses before they came into operation. That is entirely different from the principle in the Bill. It will be necessary for a Senator to move that an order be annulled before it is brought into being. The Minister is given power to make regulations and to put them into force and then to lay them on the Tables of each House. They stand as law unless positive action is taken against them. The period may be a very lengthy one within which an annulling resolution may be brought forward. Action may be taken by the Minister under the regulations for all that lengthy period,  which might extend over the summer vacation, and until such resolution is passed the regulations are valid and anything done under them is validated. The amendment seeks to substitute a clause requiring a resolution to be passed before any regulation would have any validity. There are many points which will cause tremendous interference with trade as carried on at present, and there should not be power given to the Minister to make regulations concerning these matters until the regulations are brought before the two Houses and positively proved.
Dr. Ryan: This is the common form used in all Bills, including the Agricultural Produce Bill. Both Houses have already passed Bills dealing with eggs, butter, potatoes, fresh meat and other things, and this is the form used. Senator Johnson has stated that the power given to the Dail and the Seanad in this matter to annul regulations has never been used. If the regulations made under the different Acts that have been passed were in any way objectionable, it is quite certain that someone in the Seanad or the Dáil would have raised the matter by putting down a motion to have the resolutions annulled. Nothing has happened so far under these Acts to show that the regulations were harsh or interfered with trade in any way. It would be very difficult under this Bill, if we were to work any other way, because as soon as the Bill became law we could operate any of them without making regulations.
We would then have to wait, allow the regulations to stand until we could induce the Seanad and the Dáil—I think it is both Houses—to pass resolutions approving of our regulations. It might happen, I suppose, that one or other House might object to the regulations, and we would have to come back with those regulations, and I do not know when we might reach finality in the matter. I think it would be rather difficult and, in fact, practically impossible for a Government Department to carry on under a Bill of this sort if this amendment were  accepted. As I said already, however, in discussing the matter of the definition of millable wheat, a great number of the regulations that will be laid before the House under the Act will be discussed by some advisory committee or other. For instance, the Minister for Industry and Commerce will have an advisory committee on the milling of flour. On that section of the Act which will be administered by my Department there will be two advisory committees. They are not mandatory under the Act, but we intend to have two such committees. We intend to have one dealing with the wheat side of the question—the growing of wheat and such things as the period, the distribution of subsidies, and so on, on which we would have dealers, importers, millers, and all others interested in wheat. We would have another committee dealing with the feeding-stuffs side of the matter, such as the growers of oats and barley, maize millers— anybody interested would be included on one or other of these committees.
Practically all regulations made under these Acts so far have been laid down in consultation with the advisory committees appointed—in fact, all of them have been so laid down. There may come a time when the Minister might say to the committee that he will not take their advice and that he will put down a regulation against which they have advised. Of course, I agree that the Minister always has that power, but I think it may be taken that he will always consult with these committees and act accordingly.
Mr. O'Rourke: In view of what has been said, I withdraw the amendment. When the regulations are put forward I will bring the matter up if there are objections. My point is that Government Departments will hardly be alive to the working of this measure until it has been working for two or three years and they might make regulations that would prove to be a hardship.
Mr. Bagwell: This amendment No. 10 as it is now on the Order Paper, is the first of 19 amendments standing either in my name or jointly in the name of myself and Senator The McGillycuddy. They all have to do with Part VIII of the Bill and aim at the elimination of Part VIII. The essential amendments really are Nos. 95, 99 and 100 on the Order Paper, and I suggest, with great respect, that it would seem to be a waste of time to take any of these amendments in my name until No. 95 is reached, because they are all consequential upon those three amendments beginning with No. 95 and the arguments that apply there, whatever the result of the discussion on that may be, would apply to all these others. If I may make a suggestion, I would ask that you pass over all of my amendments until No. 95 is arrived at, and then we can deal with them as may be necessary.
The only complication I see is that Senator O'Rourke has amendments which overlap or come into the question. I suggest, however, that no difficulty would be caused in that respect because Senator O'Rourke's amendments are for the modification of Part VIII whilst mine are for the elimination of Part VIII. Therefore, if the greater includes the less, if my amendments are not adopted, then the field will be clear for Senator O'Rourke, and if my amendments are adopted, then there will be no need for his.
Leas-Chathaoirleach: I should suggest that you withdraw this amendment and wait until your main amendment comes before the House. Would the Senator be agreeable to postpone the prior amendments until the Report Stage?
Mr. Bagwell: No, because I would lose an opportunity of discussing it if it is deferred to the Report Stage. I do not know that it really matters. It  is entirely a matter for the House and the convenience of the Minister.
Leas-Chathaoirleach: My suggestion is that you pass over this temporarily until you come to No. 95. You can develop your main argument on No. 95 and then, with the permission of the House, you would be able to move these other amendments.
(1) Wages payable to a workman employed at a licensed mill shall be at a rate not less than the rate generally recognised by trade unions and employers as the rate applicable to workmen employed in a similar kind of work at similar licensed mills.
(2) The conditions of employment (other than the rate of wages) of a workman employed at a licensed mill shall not be less advantageous than the conditions of employment generally recognised by trade unions and employers as the conditions of employment applicable to workmen employed in a similar kind of work at similar licensed mills.
(3) If at any licensed mill the provisions of this section in relation to any workman employed at such mill are not observed, the holder of the milling licence in respect of such mill shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to the penalties mentioned in Part II of the First Schedule to this Act.
(4) In this section the expression “licensed mill” means a mill which is the subject of a milling licence.
Mr. O'Rourke: I move amendment No. 11 standing in my name, which is to delete the section and substitute a new section:—
Section 22. To delete the section and to substitute therefor a new section as follows:—
 22.—(1) From and after the passing of this Act the rates of pay, hours of duty and other conditions of employment of workmen employed at a licensed mill in any district shall be regulated in accordance with agreements, made or to be made from time to time between the mill-owner of such licensed mill in such district and the local trade union (representative of such workmen), and, in the absence of such agreements, shall be not less favourable than the rates, hours and other conditions commonly recognised by millowners and representative trade unions in the district, or in the absence of such recognised rates, hours and conditions, shall be not less favourable than the rates, hours, and other conditions which in practice prevail amongst good employers in the district.
(2) If at any licensed mill the provisions of this section in relation to any workman employed at such mill are not observed, the holder of the milling licence in respect of such mill shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to the penalties mentioned in Part II of the First Schedule to this Act.
(3) In this section the expression “licensed mill” means a mill which is the subject of a milling licence.
My purpose in this amendment is not to interfere with the mills or the conditions of employment. I am quite satisfied that they should have trade union labour where possible, but there are many small mills that only work for two or three months in the year. These mills will be grinding this meal locally into wheaten flour and the farmer loses the bounty. That is, small mills will be afraid to become licensed mills if they are compelled to take in trades union labour. I am referring to places where there is no trades union labour in their locality, and if they are compelled to pay those rates of wages they will have to drop the thing altogether. It is not to have a conflict with the labour representatives that I am putting forward this amendment but to protect such small  mills. There are hundreds of these small mills through the country and these millers will not go on with the grinding of wheat under this scheme and become licensed millers unless this section of the Bill is amended in the manner which I have set down here.
Mr. Foran: We want to oppose this amendment. We believe that the original clause in the Bill makes the case, from the workers' point of view, far better than the amendment does. There is no obligation on a flourmiller to employ trade union labour, but there is an obligation on him to pay standard rates of wages, and if you are going to allow each area or district to regulate its own rate of wages it is not going to lead to anything like fair conditions for the people employed in the mill. So far as we are concerned, this amendment is worsening the conditions of the people likely to be employed in a mill.
Mr. Duffy: I should like to say that the least the workers in the milling industry may reasonably expect is that they get fair rates of wages. The farmer is being subsidised to grow wheat at the expense of other citizens of the State, and the miller is protected from competition outside the country. The least, in all fairness, that the worker should get out of this is a reasonable rate of wages, and that is what the Bill, as it stands at present, provides. There is no compulsion whatsoever on the workers in any particular mill to belong to any particular union; but the compulsion that is in the Bill at the moment is that wages, recognised trades union rates of wages between employers and trades unions in the industry, shall apply in any mill that is used for the purpose of making flour from wheat meal.
The McGillycuddy: As I see it, this amendment is trying to protect a certain class of man. Many of you who are acquainted with the Gap of Dunloe, quite near where I live, will know that there is a small mill there run by a farmer with a small acreage, and he and a couple of hands do whatever milling is to be done. I gather that that is the class of man  that Senator O'Rourke proposes to protect by this amendment. This man's mill does not function all the time but only for one or two or possibly three days a week according to the number of farmers who want milling done, and if somebody can come in and tell him that he has to pay a higher rate of wages he will probably have to go out of business, and the consumers around the place who use only flour from that mill will get no flour at all.
Mr. O'Rourke: I think my friends on the Labour Benches are taking too severe a view of this altogether. I do not think that it will interfere with wages at all. Here, at the end of the amendment, it says:—
“in the absence of such recognised rates, hours and conditions, they (rates of pay, hours of duty, etc.), shall be not less favourable than the rates, hours and other conditions which in practice prevail amongst good employers in the district.”
The meaning of it will be that these small mills will grind meal for the farmers. At present it is ground there and the farmer takes the meal away. If it goes on as it is at present in the Bill the small farmer will get no bounty and the large farmer will get it. I think that it will have an effect on a lot of mills. It can have no effect where trades union labour is employed. The only way it can have effect is where there is no trades union labour employed at present and there is a great number of them in such counties as Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan.
There are mills not working all the year round, and I think this section would be more of a grievance to the farmers growing wheat than to the millers. They will not be able to continue milling if they are to employ trade union labour and they will simply say they will not become licensed millers at all, and if that is so the farmer will not get the benefit. If any change can be made in the amendment to make it more acceptable I am quite agreeable. I am quite satisfied that there should be no interference with the trade union labour and I do not want to have any interference.
Mr. Farren: There is no mention of trade union labour. It is a question of rates and conditions. I presume the bounty will be uniform and national. At present there is what is known as a national agreement for the mill workers of the country. If Senator O'Rourke's amendment is passed it cuts away the national agreement and provides for local arrangements where the workmen will be entirely at the mercy of the mill owners. Consequently while the farmer is provided with a uniform bounty and national application there is no reason why a national agreement should not be made. If there is any hardship upon any particular miller or some small miller such as Senator The McGillycuddy referred to provision will have to be made. His circumstances will be taken into account in coming to an arrangement about wages. There is no doubt that the section with regard to the worker's wages in the Bill, as it stands, is far better than the amendment proposed by Senator O'Rourke. I think the difficulties he foresees will not arise at all.
Mr. Johnson: May I supplement the points which have already been made against this amendment? The amendment specifically deals with local trade unions——
Mr. O'Rourke: I know the word “local” is not a good one and I am quite prepared to leave it out.
Mr. Johnson: If the word “local” is left out there is no meaning in the amendment at all. If the local trade union in Donegal is to make an arrangement with local employers, and another local trade union in Sligo is to make arrangements with its employers, and these arrangements differ one from the other, what is to be the position of the employer who pays higher rates to his employees? Section 22 says “Wages payable to a workman employed at a licensed mill shall be at a rate not less than the rate generally recognised by trade unions and employers as the rate applicable to workmen employed in a similar kind of work at similar licensed mills.” If there are to be two types of mills the local mills  may be subject to an arrangement applicable to that kind of mill, and will be under the same terms and conditions. It does not lay down that the rates and conditions of a mill in Dublin must be applied universally. That is a matter for arrangement between the employers and the trade union, and no doubt there will be differential rates according to the type of mill and district. The section as it stands secures all the Senator has outlined as his intention. He has indicated that he does not want to have a local trade union. Leave out the word “local” and everything the Senator says he wants is in the section of the Bill.
Mr. Lemass: I think this amendment was moved upon a misunderstanding. Certainly the speech made by Senator O'Rourke, in introducing his amendment, would seem to indicate that he misunderstood what the position is. A licensed miller is a flour miller.
Mr. O'Rourke: Not necessarily.
Mr. Lemass: The man at the Gap of Dunloe alluded to by The McGillycuddy may, on a small scale, mill meal for farmers but he is not a licensed miller. He might get leave under Section 36 to mill home-grown wheat but he would not be a licensed miller. This portion of the Bill which we are now discussing relates to persons licensed to mill wheat into flour. The bounty would not be payable in respect of wheat brought to the mill, milled into flour and brought back again. The bounty would not be payable there. It only applies to the mill of a licensed miller, a registered wheat dealer or a registered distiller. The bounty is only paid on wheat sold by the farmer to one of these three classes of persons. The man who operates a small mill grinding wheat for farmers will not be a licensed miller, and this section has the particular advantage of being quite clear. There is no difficulty because, in fact, wages and conditions of work in flour mills are regulated by national agreement, and the Bill is giving effect to what is always the practice in the flour mills, so that I do not think any substantial objection will be raised when this section comes to be operated. At any rate,  no objection has been raised by anybody up to the present.
Mr. O'Rourke: I have no intention of pressing this amendment to a division. My view is that under the circumstances these small millers will not continue to grind wheat for the farmers. They will buy the wheat from the farmers. The farmer would really be foolish to get his wheat ground when he can get a far better price by selling it. A lot of these country mills intend to buy wheat, get the bounty, return it to the farmers and sell the wheat afterwards. However, I withdraw the amendment.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. O'Rourke: I do not move the other amendments in connection with that matter on the Paper in my name.
Amendments 12, 13, 14 and 15 not moved.
Question—“That Section 22 stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.
Sections 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 agreed to and added to the Bill.
(3) If any holder of a milling licence in respect of a particular mill fails to mill into flour at such mill during the preliminary quota period (if any) or any quota year an amount of wheat which is at least ninety per cent. of the quota for such mill in respect of such period or year, such person shall unless he satisfies the Court that such failure was attributable to circumstances over which he had no control be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to the penalties mentioned in Part III of the First Schedule to this Act.
The McGillycuddy: I move amendment 16:—
Section 28, sub-section (3). After the word “control” in line 11 to insert the words “or arose from the fact that the cost of production precluded the milling of the quota at an economic price.”
I think a situation might arise where a miller and the Minister might differ as to whether the circumstances  were under the miller's control or vice versa. Supposing a miller in a particular district gets a licence to mill wheat. For one reason or another the wheat is not available or not available in millable quantities. Freight charges, for instance, might prevent him from bringing the necessary quantities of wheat from elsewhere, and might prohibit and preclude milling on a particular occasion at an economic price, and finally the miller does not mill the quantity he intended. The Minister may say circumstances were not, or probably would not, have prevented the miller from doing better. He might be told that he could have got his supplies from Tipperary or some other county if he had not been able to get them at home. I think that the phrase “circumstances over which he had no control” might be elaborated by the Minister.
Mr. Lemass: When I saw the amendment first I was not quite clear as to what the Senator had in mind, but having heard him I think it is clear that he has misunderstood the Bill. The quota he referred to has nothing to do with home-grown wheat. It is the quota the miller is entitled to mill. The quota referred to in the clause is the quota that may be milled in the mill in any year. It has nothing to do with the home-grown wheat.
The McGillycuddy: Has he not to mill a certain amount of home-grown wheat?
Mr. Lemass: Yes. But he can, in certain circumstances, get free from the obligation to grind so much home-grown wheat. He is expected to grind at least 90 per cent. of the quota for his mill, and it is desirable that he should go out of existence if he is not able to do that and make a profit at the prevailing prices. The miller to whom that would apply would be a person whom the State thinks it would be undesirable should be the holder of a licence. A person who is incompetent, inefficient and unfit to hold a licence should be deprived of it.
 Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 28 agreed to.
Sections 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33 agreed to and added to the Bill.
(2) The Minister may at any time without any such application revoke a milling licence granted in relation to any mill if—
(a) he is satisfied that such licence was procured by fraud or misrepresentation; or
(b) the business of milling wheat has ceased to be carried on at such mill, or
(c) the holder of such licence has been convicted of an offence under this Act, or
(d) he is satisfied that there has been any breach of any condition of such licence.
The McGillycuddy: I move amendment No. 17:—
Section 34, sub-section (2). After the word “Act” in line 23 to insert the words “and the Judge convicting so recommends.”
I am sure the Minister would not, for one moment, lightly contemplate shutting down a mill and depriving a man of his livelihood. I think it is desirable to guard against an offence, which may be a triviality, being magnified into an abnormality. I think an amendment, such as I have moved, would strengthen the Minister's hands when he decides to take away a licence. I move this amendment on the ground that the judge who hears the case, in the first instance, is the most competent person to decide. I think that paragraph (c) wants strengthening and for that reason I put down this amendment.
Mr. Farren: I imagine that if this amendment were adopted it would set up a very dangerous precedent. The Minister as the person who granted the licence should, in the last analysis, be the person to revoke the licence if it is to be revoked. It should not be left to a judge or anybody else to deal with the matter. If the Minister grants a licence, in the first instance, with him also should rest the power of revoking it.
Mr. Lemass: A similar amendment was debated at considerable length in the Dáil when the Bill was before it in Committee. I resisted it then and I think it is necessary that it should be resisted again. There is no question whatever that a judge is more competent than the Minister to decide questions of law. Equally is he much more competent to decide questions of fact and the judge in these cases decides the question of fact, namely whether the person holding the licence has been guilty of an offence under the Act or not. Once that question of fact is determined by the judge, I submit the Minister is much more competent than the judge to determine whether the offence is sufficiently grave to justify the withdrawal of the licence. That is the question to be decided by the Minister, the withdrawal of the licence following conviction. The Minister must determine whether the offence was of such a nature that revocation of the licence should follow on the conviction.
As the Minister for Agriculture has stated, the previous amendment to Section 34 of the Bill is similar in outline and similar sections have appeared in other Bills which came before the Oireachtas and which involved this licensing provision. In certain cases we were asked to employ other procedure, where different considerations were involved, but I think in this case the procedure followed in other Bills applies here also. In fact the section here is much less drastic than some similar sections appearing in other licensing Bills. The principle behind this certainly is that the Minister is best able to determine whether public policy will be served by the withdrawal of the licence after the licensee has been convicted. I think the judge would not have nearly so many facts upon which to decide as the Minister could and could not obtain as the Minister can all the facts sufficient to enable him to determine the question.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 18 not moved.
Mr. Jameson: Might I call the Minister's attention to Clause (d) of sub-section (2) of Clause 34 which  empowers the Minister to revoke a milling licence “if he is satisfied that there has been any breach of any condition of such licence”? We must remember that in these cases we are dealing with the milling industry in which there is a very large amount of capital invested at the present time. It is a completely new provision that all these millers have to take out licences under these conditions. These mills have big engagements. There are undoubtedly family moneys tied up in them. They have shareholders, they have probably got debenture issues, or certain financial commitments with banks. Those who have put money into such a business have never had to face a similar situation before and I should like the Minister to consider whether it is not rather a serious thing to take hold of a big industry like this and make it subject to a brand new condition. I should like him also to consider whether he could not in some way modify that sub-section so that those who are engaged in the industry would not feel that they were absolutely and entirely at the mercy of one individual who, for any breach of any condition, would put them out of business. Looked at from the point of view of a large industry, this is a very serious provision.
I know that the Minister wants to get money into the industry, and that he wants to push ahead in every way. I think that anybody who is in this industry is likely to be frightened by this provision and I think nobody who is not in it will put money into it because of this provision, because he will say “Oh well, my miller may make mistakes; all sorts of things may happen. My money is gone in an instant because the licence may be withdrawn at the word of the Minister for any breach of any condition.” I think that is really a serious handicap to put on a new industry like the milling industry. I do not know whether attention has been called to it by anybody else, as I have not read the debates in the Dáil, but I would suggest to the Minister, who should know as much as I do about the industry, that this is a very serious  step. There is another industry with which I am connected, and if we suddenly found in our trade that all the licensed people who dealt with us had to comply with such brand new conditions, and that the licence might be removed at a minute's notice——
Mr. Johnson: It is a month's notice in this case.
Mr. Jameson: ——if the Minister is satisfied that there has been any breach of any condition of such licence' it would be a terribly drastic thing. If you applied that provision to other industries I believe it would not stand. I think that this House should insert the word “serious” before the word “breach” or that there should be some modification along those lines. I should like the Minister to look at the clause and see whether it is not going further than is necessary, whether it might not cause disturbance, loss of credit, and all sorts of things which are not contemplated. If it is carried in its present form it may do a great deal of injury that was never intended.
Mr. Lemass: Paragraph (d) of the sub-section must be read in relation to Section 21. The section provides that in respect of licences issued to millers who were milling flour in 1931, that is, existing millers, one condition and one condition only can be attached, and that is that they shall not sell their mill to a foreign company. That is the only condition that they can break, and the only circumstances under which the licence of an existing miller would be revoked under that section would be if the mill were sold to a foreign company.
Mr. Jameson: Is that the only condition?
Mr. Lemass: That is the only condition in so far as an existing miller, who is an Irish national, is concerned. We can attach other conditions to a licence where it is owned by a non-national or a foreign company. In respect of new mills, persons applying for a licence after the Act is passed have full knowledge of all the conditions which have to be fulfilled. In the case of these licences we would have to impose other  conditions in regard to the location of the mill, the output of the mill and other conditions of that kind, because we do not want to get one part of the country over-milled and another part of the country under-milled. That would involve increased prices for flour because of increased transport charges to certain areas. In the case of new mills there might be these conditions. We might say to a company: “We will give you a licence for a certain capacity subject to this mill being established in Donegal or in Connacht, but we shall refuse to give you a licence to establish a mill in Dublin or in Cork.” If the miller, who held that licence, proposes to transfer his licence to another mill in another area, the condition as to its location would be broken and the licence could be cancelled. Although the provision, looked at in one sense, appears drastic, there is really very little danger of an injustice being done. Let me repeat that in so far as the existing mills are concerned, owned by nationals, there is only one condition, and that is that the mills shall not be sold to a non-national. In so far as new mills are concerned, the people who work and operate them agree to do so with the full knowledge of what is in the Bill. Again, a safeguard against any unfair operation of the power conferred on the Minister is that he is responsible to the Legislature for his actions. In the last resort he has got to be prepared to stand up in public and to defend what he has done. If he is unable to defend it, if it appears that he uses his power capriciously or corruptly, then he is liable to be called to account for it. In view of the limited number of cases in which the power can be exercised at all, and of the other safeguard to which I have referred, there should be no substantial objection to leaving the clause in the section.
The McGillycuddy: I am not quite clear as to the distinction which the Minister draws between existing mills which have only one condition to fulfil and new mills in respect of which there may be a considerable number of conditions. I think that it would be well if the Minister agreed to insert the word “serious” after the word “any.” It would then put the conditions on all fours with the licensing provisions in other Bills.
Mr. Lemass: I have no objection to the word “serious” going in although I do not think it is necessary because, as I contemplated it, the only breach that could occur would be serious. That would be selling the mill to a foreign company or, in the case of a new mill, that the owner would have bodily transferred the mill to another place.
The McGillycuddy of the Reeks: In any case it will put the two Bills on exactly the same footing.
Cathaoirleach: If the Senator desires to have the word “serious” inserted he can move an amendment on report.
Mr. Jameson: The Minister talked about existing mills, but I do not think that the wording of the clause, as it stands, will induce anybody to put money into a new mill. However, that is his business.
Mr. Lemass: On that point, I should like to say that my trouble is that so many people want to build flour mills that it is a very difficult task to pick out those to whom licences should be given. In fact the existing flour-mills are very seriously concerned that we are going to be very heavily over-milled if all the people who are applying for licences get them.
Mr. Johnson: Senator Jameson appears to overlook sub-section (3), which does not allow the Minister to cancel a licence on a minute's notice. It requires a month's notice to be given, after which an inquiry may be held. The month's notice would give the mill-owner an opportunity to make representations to Senator Jameson or to any other Senator or to a member of the Dáil, and all the kind of representations that would be required to show the injustice of the proposed revocation, would be brought into play. It is not quite as serious as the Senator is suggesting.
Mr. Jameson: I am only suggesting the implications of it for individuals who propose to put money into the business.
Sections 34 to 39 inclusive ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Amendment 19 postponed.
Sections 40 to 45 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
(1) The Minister for Industry and Commerce shall cause to be kept—
(a) a register to be called and known as the register of flour importers; and
(b) a register to be called and known as the register of distillers.
(2) The Minister for Agriculture shall cause to be kept—
(a) a register to be called and known as the register of wheat importers; and
(b) a register to be called and known as the register of wheat dealers; and
(c) a register to be called and known as the register of wheat growers; and
(d) a register to be called and known as the register of maize millers; and
(e) a register to be called and known as the register of maize importers; and
(f) a register to be called and known as the register of manufacturers of compound feeding stuffs.
(3) There shall be entered in every such register the matters required by this Part of this Act to be entered therein.
(4) References in this Part of this Act to a register shall be construed as references to a register kept under this section.
The McGillycuddy of the Reeks: With reference to this amendment, No. 20:—
Section 45, sub-section 2. After sub-paragraph (d) to insert a new sub-paragraph as follows:—
 (e) a register to be called and known as the register of maize meal dealers; and
I am in exactly the same difficulty as Senator Bagwell. This amendment proposes to create a new type of person who becomes subject to the regulations contained in the Bill. An alteration in the restrictions contained in the measure on the sale of maize meal for human consumption appears to be necessary and, so far as I can see, the proposal I make in the new section which I will suggest later on, after Section 81, is the only way of doing that without striking at the fundamentals of the Bill. This amendment and the amendments following it, Nos. 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 35, 38 and 47, are really only preliminaries to new sections and I should prefer to explain the whole idea on the new sections which come after Section 81. If I may do so, I should like to have all these postponed and they can stand or fall with the new sections.
Cathaoirleach: The only way in which we can manage it is to put the sections now and you can introduce these amendments on Report Stage, withdrawing them for the present.
The McGillycuddy of the Reeks: Did you not postpone a particular section in Senator Bagwell's case?
Cathaoirleach: I must take the sections as they come. I have done it already and Section 40 was carried. Senator Bagwell can bring his amendment in again on Report.
The McGillycuddy of the Reeks: Very well, sir.
Cathaoirleach: That is what was arranged with Senator Bagwell.
Mr. Jameson: But the deletion of some of these sections will be necessary if an amendment is carried later on, and can we annul a section already passed by the House?
Cathaoirleach: Yes, on report.
Mr. Jameson: Although the House has passed the section?
Amendment 20 not moved.
(1) Any person who carries on the business of importing flour or wheaten meal or both may, in accordance with this section, apply to the appropriate Minister to be registered in the register of flour importers in respect of any premises at which he carries on such business.
(2) Any person who carries on the business of distilling may, in accordance with this section, apply to the appropriate Minister to be registered in the register of distillers in respect of any premises at which he is entitled by law to carry on such business.
(3) Any person who carries on the business of importing wheat may, in accordance with this section, apply to the appropriate Minister to be registered in the register of wheat importers in respect of any premises at which he carries on such business.
(4) Any person who carries on the business of purchasing home-grown wheat for re-sale may, in accordance with this section, apply to the appropriate Minister to be registered in the register of wheat dealers in respect of any premises at which he carries on such business.
(5) Any person who has sown or proposes to sow wheat may, in accordance with this section, apply to the appropriate Minister to be registered in the register of wheat growers in respect of any premises on which he has sown or proposes to sow wheat.
(6) Any person (in this section referred to as a maize miller) who carries on the business of milling maize into maize meal may, in accordance with this section, apply to the appropriate Minister to be registered in the register of maize millers in respect of any premises at which he carries on such business.
(7) Any person who carries on the business of importing maize, may, in accordance with this section, apply to the appropriate Minister  to be registered in the register of maize importers in respect of any premises at which he carries on such business.
(8) Any person who carries on the business of manufacturing compound feeding stuffs may, in accordance with this section, apply to the appropriate Minister to be registered in the register of manufacturers of compound feeding stuffs in respect of any premises at which he carries on such business.
(9) The following provisions shall have effect in relation to applications under this section, that is to say:—
(a) where a maize miller desires to be registered in the register of maize millers in respect of two or more premises he shall send a separate application for registration in respect of each such premises;
(b) where a person desires to be registered in two or more registers, he shall send a separate application for registration in respect of each such register;
(c) every application for registration in a particular register kept by the Minister for Industry and Commerce shall be in the form prescribed by that Minister and shall contain the particulars prescribed by that Minister and shall specify the premises in respect of which the applicant applies to be registered in such register;
(d) every application for registration in a particular register kept by the Minister for Agriculture shall be in the form prescribed by that Minister and shall contain the particulars prescribed by that Minister and shall specify the premises in respect of which the applicant applies to be registered in such register.
(10) References in this Part of this Act to an original application for registration shall be construed as a reference to an application for registration made under this section.
Mr. Quirke: I move amendment No. 20a:—
Section 47, sub-section (1). After the word “on” in line 27 to insert the words “or proposes to carry on.”
The reason for this amendment is that, so far as I can see, no provision has been made for a man who intended to go into the business. The sub-section reads:
Any person who carries on the business of importing flour...
My idea is to insert after the word “on” the words “or proposes to carry on” because, under the Bill as it stands, a man desirous of going into the business could not be registered.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Quirke: I move amendment No. 20b:—
Section 47, sub-section (1). After the word “on” in line 31 to insert the words “or proposes to carry on.”
The explanation to this amendment is the same as that for the previous one. The subsequent amendments are all the same and are designed to make provision for the registration of newcomers into the business.
Cathaoirleach: I will put all the amendments together.
Amendments 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e, 20f, 20g, 20h agreed to.
Amendment 21 not moved.
Amendments 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d agreed to.
Cathaoirleach: Would this be a convenient time to adjourn? We have disposed of all the Government amendments on the Paper and we can get through our work to-morrow, I think.
Mr. O'Rourke: At what time is it proposed we should sit to-morrow? Friday is St. Patrick's Day and I suggest that we should sit early to-morrow.
Cathaoirleach: Three o'clock to-morrow.
Mr. O'Rourke: We shall have to get home to-morrow night and, if we sit until 8 o'clock, we cannot get home.
Cathaoirleach: Very well, we will go on.
Mr. O'Rourke: I am not going to force my opinion on the House. It was only a question as to whether we should sit at 11 o'clock or 3 o'clock.
Cathaoirleach: Three o'clock. There is no provision to enable us to meet at 11 o'clock.
The Seanad adjourned at 7.10 p.m. until 3 o'clock to-morrow.
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