§ MR. STEPHENS (Middlesex, Hornsey)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether, as the horses now bred in Ireland are acknowledged to be better than those of every other country, he will consider the advisability of transferring the public money, now granted in aid of horse breeding, to some Irish industry in a backward or undeveloped condition?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
The grant of £5,000 to which the hon. Member's Question refers will be applied to the encouragement of cattle breeding as well as of horse breeding in Ireland. It is quite true that Ireland has been pre-eminent in horse breeding. It is equally certain, I regret to say, that of late years there has been a deplorable tendency to deterioration in this respect. The danger of a permanent falling-off in the quality of Irish horses and stock has been repeatedly urged upon the Government by the persons best qualified to judge; and it is in order to avert such a calamity that we are asking Parliament for this grant. The Government is extremely anxious to do everything in its power to improve the industrial resources of Ireland. But I think the hon. Member will admit that it is as important to check decay in a branch of industry for which experience has shown Ireland to be peculiarly suited, as to develop others with regard to which success is more or less problematical.