§ Mr. SHEEHAN
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) if he will state what responsibility his Department takes for the produce of creameries at present exhibited by them at their produce shows, and what responsibility does it take for bacon, jams, and other manufactures; why the Department are willing, without imposing any special conditions, to exhibit all articles of food except butter at these shows, even though the factories in which they are produced are not visited by the officials of the Department or receiving any technical advice; and, in view of the fact that the Department's recent action in excluding about 300 creameries from one of these shows is looked on as an attempt to coerce these concerns to send butter to the Department's surprise competitions, he will see his way to place all creameries on the same footing as factories producing other classes of provisions?
§ Mr. CHERRY
The Department have in operation a scheme under which a very considerable sum is expended annually in improving the produce of creameries by means of visits of instructors, surprise butter competitions, and otherwise. Similar schemes are not in operation in regard to the other manufactures referred to, and consequently the same regulation as regards admission to the produce shows is not applicable in these cases. The Department afford, as far as practicable, all necessary advice and assistance to manufacturers exhibiting at these shows, and they cannot see their way to admit exhibitors who refuse to benefit by the facilities afforded for instruction. It is not correct to say that 300 creameries have been excluded from these shows, and that the Department have endeavoured to coerce creameries to take part in the surprise butter competitions. The number of creameries which, owing to their unsatisfactory condition, or to the refusal of the managers to conform to the regulations, are excluded from the Department's 579 scheme is scarcely one-fourth of that number. My right hon. Friend does not propose to alter the regulation referred to. It is open to the proprietors of any creamery, if they so desire, to obtain all the advantages afforded by the Department.