§ MR. O'DOHERTY (Donegal, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the action of certain Local Authorities in Scotland with regard to forbidding the importation of cattle from Ireland generally; whether any distinction is made by these Authorities either as to the locality or port from which cattle are sent or as to the sort of cattle, whether store or dairy-cattle; whether any disease has been traced to any, and what, Irish port and what class of cattle was affected; whether he will call the attention of the Scottish Authorities to page 22 of the last Report of the Agricultural Department of the English Privy Council, where it is shown that 69 per cent of the cases of pleuro-pneumonia in Scotland are shown to be in the dairy stock of Glasgow and Edinburgh; whether he will make representations in the proper quarter in Scotland, so as to prevent 532 these powers of sanitary regulations from being an injury to the export trade of Ireland; whether it is a fact that two years ago some similar action was taken but afterwards modified, so far as the Ports of Derry and Belfast were concerned, on the protest of the Irish Authorities; and, whether he will take similar energetic action to have the same modifications made immediately?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
This subject is much too extensive and important to be dealt with satisfactorily within the limits of the answer to a Question. The Scottish Local Authorities have no power to prohibit generally the importation of cattle from Ireland. They have power to prohibit the movement of cattle into their districts from other districts in Great Britain; and the attention of the Veterinary Department in Ireland has recently been drawn to the manner in which this power has, in some cases, been exercised, as being calculated to interfere with the export trade in Ireland. This, I presume, is what the hon. Member refers to. With regard to the recent detection of disease at Irish ports, the facts are that pleuro-pneumonia has been detected in three dairy cattle at the Port of Dublin, and that one bullock shipped at Drogheda was also found to be similarly affected. With the exception of the Dublin District Ireland is, I am happy to say, entirely free from pleuro-pneumonia. So far as I have been able to ascertain, the circumstances of the present difficulty with the Scottish Authorities are not precisely similar to those of a former occasion to which the hon. Member refers, and they may possibly not be so easily arranged; but I shall give instructions to the Veterinary Department in Dublin to communicate at once to the Agricultural Department of the English Privy Council the representations already made, and also any further representations that may be received on the subject, and to request that Department to urge upon the Scottish Local Authorities to exercise their powers with as much consideration for the Irish export trade as is possible.