To ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he will inquire into the railway system for carrying milk, seeing that the railway van is at present the only means by which long-distant milk can be conveyed from the producer to the public; whether he is aware that in some cases the van is dirty and ill-ventilated and that along with the milk are carried hides, carcasses of meat, and live fowls; and whether he will use his influence with the railway companies to have milk carried in pure milk vans. (Answered by Mr. T. W. Russell.) If by "railway van" is meant the guard's van, the Department are not aware that this is the only kind of vehicle by which milk is conveyed over long distances. The transit inspectors of the Department have instructions to report any cases which come under their notice of milk being carried in dirty vehicles or with articles likely to taint it, and in any such reported cases the matter is taken up with the carrying company concerned. If specific instances are brought under the notice of the Department they will have full inquiry made.
To ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he will inquire into the carriage of milk, which in some cases is 100 per cent. higher than the owner's risk rate; and whether, seeing that the conditions attached to the owner's risk rate mean that the railway company are not responsible for damage done to milk or cans, unless it can be proved that the company's servants, through wilful misconduct, have caused the injury, he will take action to protect farmers from such damage. (Answered by Mr. T. W. Russell.) The Department are not aware that rates 100 per cent. over the owner's risk rates are charged for the conveyance of milk on Irish railways, but if instances are furnished in which the charges are considered excessive the Department will have inquiry made. The question of damage to goods forwarded at owner's risk is a general one, affecting many descriptions of traffic, but if any specific instances of damage to milk conveyed at owner's risk are furnished to the Department full inquiry will be made.