HC Deb 14 February 1898 vol 53 cc494-5
MR. B. COLLERY (Sligo, North)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will include in the Seed Supply Act the cost of distribution and collection; whether he is aware that those incidental expenses add considerably to the price the Guardians have to charge for the seed; and if he is aware that the last seed supply cost the poor people 25 per cent. more than they could buy them in the open market for cash?


The loans granted to Boards of Guardians for the purposes of the Measure referred to cover the cost of distribution; the cost of the collection of the seed rate is not charged to the occupiers, and therefore a loan is not made in respect of this item of the expense. The conditions upon which loans are granted free of interest are this year identical with those laid down in 1891 and 1895. The cost of importing seed from Scotland and the North of Ireland adds somewhat to the selling price, but the incidental expenses are kept as low as possible, and as the object of the Government is to provide a change of seed and to introduce new varieties into the country, that object would not be attained if the seed supplied to people in districts where the potatoes have been affected by disease were purchased in local markets.