In addition to the modern legislation on cereals, there exists on the statute book older legislation from the 1930s dealing with the cereals sector.
The legislation required a licence in relation to a range of activities, including in particular, milling, manufacturing cereal, maize, meal mixtures and compound feedstuff. It is an offence to carry on the business concerned without a licence. A mill licence may be granted subject to conditions. It specifies the mill at which milling may be undertaken.
The register of oats and barley dealers and oatmeal millers was added by the 1934 Act. Persons purchasing home-grown oats, and barley were subject to registration requirements similar to that in the principal act.
Wages payable at a mill are not to be not at less than the rate recognised by employers and employees as the rate applicable to employees employed in a similar kind of work at a similarly licenced mill.
Former Market Intervention
The legislation provided for subsidies and quotas. The rate of quota was set by the Department of Finance in consultation with the Department of Agriculture.
The legislation, as initially constituted, provided for quotas in the context of the 1930s. See our section on agricultural history. Mill owners were obliged to produce their quota.
The Department may make regulations requiring returns by holders of milling licenses. Records are required to be kept. Much of the legislation relates to the original quotas and subsidies provisions in the context of the protectionist 1930.
The Minister may inspect mills and take samples. It is an offence to obstruct an officer of the minister.
A milling licence may be revoked by the Minister if there is a breach of condition, the business ceased to be carried on, or it was procured by fraud or misrepresentation. Notice of revocation must be given and the opportunity is given to make representations.
Importers & Dealers
The legislation provides for the registration of flour importers, wheat importers, wheat dealers, wheat growers, maize millers, maize importers and manufacturers of compound feeding stuff. It is an offence to carry on the relevant business without a licence. The Ministers for Industry and Commerce, and Agriculture held the respective registers.
There are provisions for application for licences and for consideration by the minister/department. There are provisions for application by a holder of one licence for another type of licence. A person registered in any register may apply to be registered in respect to additional premises.
Upon grant of licence, persons are to be registered in the register. Registration may be refused under the original legislation on the basis of the number of persons already registered and the public interest. Applications may also be refused or subjected to conditions on the basis of the suitability of the premises, plant or equipment, suitability of applicant.
There are procedures in relation to the refusal of the application. Notice and the reasons must be given.
There are provisions for a change in registration on the death or transfer of a business.
Returns must be made by the operators of the premises to the Department. Certain records must be kept on the premises and made available for inspection.
There are powers for inspectors to inspect premises. It is an offence to obstruct or impede an inspector. There are provisions in relation to the cancellation of registration for breach.
Under the original regulation, the Minister had the power to grant subsidies and bounties on home-grown wheat. There were price-fixing arrangements. The rate of subsidy was fixed by the Minister.
Restrictions were imposed in the later 1930s on the importation of flour, wheat meal and wheat preparation. Restrictions were also imposed on the importation of wheat and maize, oats and straw.
Later the legislation provided for compulsory sales and orders in relation to the markets. The provisions in relation to the sale and purchase of maize meal and maize meal mixture.
The Agricultural Produce Cereals Act provides control and regulation of the business of milling wheat and other cereals. The purpose was to develop those businesses in the State and provide for associated matters.
The original legislation provided for an obligation to mill a percentage of home-grown wheat. Penalties are payable if the mill exceeds its quota. There are obligations to make returns by licence holders and to keep records. Registered dealers, importers, et cetera were to make returns.
The importation of flour and meal was restricted. Restrictions on the importation of bread, biscuits et cetera, were imposed unless the person was licensed. There were similar restrictions on the importation of wheat, maize, oats, hay and straw and certain feeding stuff.