§ Mr. DEVLIN
asked the Vice President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he can give any information with regard to the working of the new Order as to dairies, cowsheds, and milkshops in Ireland; whether any prosecutions have been undertaken against defaulters; and whether any improvement in the quality of the milk supply has resulted?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am glad to be able to state that a large number of local authorities in Ireland have actively taken up the administration of the Dairies, Cowsheds and Milkshops (Ireland) Order, 1908. In 69 districts veterinary surgeons have been appointed to act as inspecting officers, and in 42 further districts other inspecting officers have been appointed. The councils of some rural districts where the dairying industry is very extensively carried on have, however, refused to take any action respecting the Order, notwithstanding repeated representations from the Local Government Board. The Board are contemplating legal proceedings in the High Court against a few of the more important of these bodies, with a view to compelling them to perform their duties. It rests with the local authorities to institute prosecutions for offences against the provisions of the Order, and no record of such prosecutions is furnished to or kept by the Local Government Board. The Board are aware, however, that in certain districts proceedings have been initiated for non-compliance with the requirements of the Order. No means exist for measuring variations in the quality of the public milk-supply of the country, but there is every reason to believe that the vigilance now being exercised by local authorities tends to secure a cleaner and more wholesome supply of milk.1241W