§ MR. DAVITT (Mayo, S.)
On behalf of the honourable Member for East Mayo, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether arrangements will be made immediately empowering poor law guardian's in Ireland to give out spraying machines on the same terms as seed potatoes?
THE CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE LORD LIEUTENANT OF IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOLR,) Leeds, Central
The arrangements made by the Government for the supply of spraying machines to boards of guardians in Ireland were explained in a circular letter addressed to these boards so long ago as the 7th March, and I would also refer to my answers to Questions put to me on the subject on the 9th and 10th May by my honourable Friend the Member for South Belfast and the honourable Member for South Monaghan. Government are granting loans, free of interest, to boards of guardians, repayable in two instalments, as in the case of seed potatoes, for obtaining a supply of machines, to be hired out or sold for cash to occupiers valued at and under £15. Payments in respect of hire or purchase must be made to the guardians in cash before delivery. An abatement of 10 per cent. has been allowed to cash purchasers of machines, and this, with the special terms secured by the Local Government Board from manufacturers, will enable occupiers, individually or jointly, to procure 227 machines for cash at about 30 per cent. under retail prices. Where a number of occupiers agree to hire a machine the hiring rates are nominal. The cost of hire is so small, 6d. and 1s. being the sums generally named for the use of a machine, that it would obviously be absurd to collect this small amount in two annual instalments. The guardians of some 74 unions have, so far, decided to supply machines under the terms explained in the circular referred to.