§ MR. SERJEANT HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he is aware that the Ballyshannon Union lately advertised for tenders for seed potatoes grown in the counties of Antrim, Down, Tyrone, and Derry, and that accordingly the tender of Mr. Brannigan, of Strabane, for 80 tons grown in North Tyrone was accepted, and (2) will he explain why the Local Government Board have withheld their sanction; is he aware that since such refusal the Ballyshannon Union have declined to entertain any further tenders for potatoes grown in North Tyrone, though such are of the best quality; and whether any steps can be taken in the matter?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND
The facts are correctly stated in the first paragraph. The tender, as approved, was for the supply of seed from the Cookstown district in East Tyrone, but subsequently the Guardians, acting on the representations of the contractor, asked the Local 1199 Government Board to sanction a supply from the district of Strabane on the borders of Donegal. This the Board, for the reasons explained to the Guardians, refused to do. The Guardians can obtain excellent new varieties of seed in Down and Antrim, or in Scotland and England, and it is unfair to small cultivators to propose to supply them with worn-out seed grown in a district adjoining, and itself affected by potato disease.