Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Ceisteanna—Questions Oral Answers. - Fertiliser Prices.

Thursday, 16 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 33 Next Page Last Page

18.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if the fertiliser industry have carried out the recommendations of the CIO report.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery The CIO's main recommendations related to the need for joint action in buying, shipping, storage, research etc., and to the desirability of establishing a concentrated complete fertiliser plant based on ammonia produced at the NET factory at Arklow.

The aims suggested by the CIO in the field of joint action have been largely achieved through rationalisation within the industry that has taken place since the CIO reported. NET is now building a CCF plant at Arklow and the principal private manufacturers are also embarking on the production of concentrated complete fertilisers.

The other recommendations of the CIO are still under consideration by the industry and by my Department.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton Does the Minister feel that if the CIO recommendations had been fully carried out, it would still be necessary to allow the increase in price of the point agreed to by the Minister?

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery The rationalisation of the industry suggested by the CIO has been carried out. I thought the Deputy's Party's attitude was that we should have allowed this increase a long time ago.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton I am speaking for myself on this matter.

19.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he is aware that the fertiliser price increase announced during the week adds a quarter of a million pounds to the farmers' production costs; and if, in view of the desirability of increasing [771] fertiliser usage, he will provide a subsidy equal to this amount.

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries (Mr. Haughey): Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey The increases in price recently authorised by the Minister for Industry and Commerce will involve an increase of not more than about 3 per cent in total expenditure by farmers on fertilisers. Because of the State subsidy, which is now costing between £3½ and £4 million per annum, the prices of these fertilisers will still be amongst the lowest in Europe, and there is no doubt that, at present prices, increased use of fertilisers will repay the expenditure incurred many times over.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton Can we take it that the Minister is not concerned about the fact that farmers' costs have increased by £¼ million as a result of this increase, and that he is unconcerned about the fact that there has been a very big drop in fertiliser usage in the past 12 months?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey That is complete nonsense. I am all the time keeping farmers' costs under review. As a matter of fact, I initiated some arrangement recently under which the question of the consumption of fertilisers by our farmers is thoroughly investigated by the people concerned, to see what steps we can take to promote an increased use of fertiliser. Let me remind the Deputy that not very long ago this Government took positive and concrete action to increase farmers' incomes by something between £5½ million and £6 million a year.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange That was to win the Presidential election.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon You abolished the fertiliser credit scheme under the Land Project.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey Land Project grants were increased.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon I said “credit facilities”. There is no use in having grants if you have not credit to bridge the difference.

[772]Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey Land Project grants were substantially increased.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon I am not talking about grants; I am talking about credit facilities.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey When I increase the grants under the Land Project, you want to forget about it and talk about something else. There is plenty of credit available for productive purposes to farmers. All the credit they want is available to them.

Mr. Lindsay: Information on Patrick James Lindsay Zoom on Patrick James Lindsay It is not.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan Question No. 20.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton I distinctly heard the Minister saying: “I will give Clinton his answer.” He has not yet given me my answer.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I did not say anything about giving Clinton his answer.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton You were talking to your colleague.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I did not.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton I clearly heard you.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I did not.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton It is typical of the smart Alec answers we get from time to time. Now the Minister is going to call the people together and exhort them to use more artificial fertiliser when he does not agree they are paying a £¼ million more for it.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey Do not talk nonsense. Before the price increase was allowed and the fertiliser manufacturers have been looking for this increase for about nine months now——

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman You held it until the day after the election.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I will not be shouted down. Before that increase was permitted by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, a Prices Advisory Committee was set up on which we [773] put a prominent member of the NFA to look after the farmers' interests.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery I was slated for not allowing it before setting up that body.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton Are the NFA satisfied with the result?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I do not know whether they are satisfied, but they had a representative on the Prices Advisory Tribunal. Does the Deputy deny that the increase was justified.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman It was held until the day after the election.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey That is patent dishonesty. You are trying to have the best of both worlds. You will not face up to your responsibilities.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan Question No. 20.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan I have called Question No. 20.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass Remember you are supposed to be an alternative Government. Try to act like it.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave Zoom on Liam Cosgrave You have ceased to function as a Government.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman Except for drawing the salaries, they have ceased to function as a Government.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange The best Cabinet in Europe.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass That is surely the worst shadow Cabinet in the world.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey When Deputy Sweetman was Minister for Agriculture, he did not commit these irresponsibilities. He just said nothing at all.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman Would the Minister go home and cut his weeds? They were a disgrace yesterday.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey Des Foley cut them for me the week before.

[774]Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange He did not get you the votes in County Dublin.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I have a letter in from Westmeath and I may have to quote it for the Deputy.

Mr. S. Dunne: Information on Seán Dunne Zoom on Seán Dunne Could we have order, please? I have a question down and I am very anxious that it should be reached.


Last Updated: 11/05/2015 14:14:37 First Page Previous Page Page of 33 Next Page Last Page