§ MR. MAHONY (Meath, N.)
I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture whether he will take steps to collect statistics of prices realised by actual sales of cattle by live weight in the chief cattle markets of Great Britain and Ireland, and to furnish the same to Members of Parliament as a quarterly Return?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
The proposal to obtain statistics of the prices of cattle as ascertained by sales effected on the basis of live weight is one which I am not indisposed co view with favour. But the Board of Agriculture has at present no machinery which could be made immediately available for the collection of such information in Great Britain, and it has not been entrusted with any powers for the collection of statistics in Ireland. We are, however, considering if it may not be possible to devise a scheme for the purpose, in concert with other Departments, or otherwise. I understand that the Commission now sitting on market rights and tolls has taken evidence on the subject, and has procured Reports from foreign countries as to their practice in this matter, and it would be well perhaps to await their recommendations before giving a more definite answer to the question.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the evidence before the Markets Commission it was shown that weigh bridges have seldom been used either in England, Ireland, or Wales?
§ MR. CHAPLIN
No; I was not aware of that; and that is one of the reasons why I am desirous of waiting for the Report.