HC Deb 12 March 1895 vol 31 cc872-3
COLONEL SANDYS (Lancashire,S.W., Bootle)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at what price the seed potatoes are supplied to the peasantry on the north-west coast of Ireland; whether he is aware that poor people living between Belmullet and Portacloy, in county Mayo, whose wages are only 1s. 6d. a day when in work, have been, and are, charged 10s. a hundredweight, or £10 a ton for their seed potatoes; and whether he will in future allow them to enjoy the boon of seed potatoes at a price which they can afford to pay?


The Seed Potatoes Supply Bill provides (as did also the similar Bill of 1890) that seed shall not he sold for less than the net price paid by the Guardians for it, inclusive of the expenses incurred for carriage, storage, and distribution. The price must, therefore, vary in different districts according to the contract price and to the expenses incurred in distribution. No seed has yet reached Belmullet Union for distribution, but the Guardians have entered into a contract for about 100 tons of Irish Champions at £5 12s. 6d. per ton, delivered in Belmullet, and for a small quantity of another kind of seed at £6 17s. 6d. per ton. To this will have to be added the cost of storage and distribution, and it is not possible, at present, to say what the price charged to the people will be, but the Local Government Board do not think it will amount to anything like so high a figure as that mentioned by the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

MR. W. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

Does the right hon. Gentleman state these are Irish Champions?


Yes; Irish Champions. They come from the North of Ireland, where a good many good things have come from.