§ CAPTAIN A. J. C. DONELAN (Cork, E.)
On behalf of the hon. Member for South Monaghan, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he is aware that the farmers of Ulster have suffered considerable loss during the past few years owing to the almost total failure of the flax crop; (2) whether he has received complaints as to the quality of the flax seed imported; and, (3) whether he will take any steps to see that flax seed only of a high germinating standard be imported to Ireland in the future?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE LORD LIEUTENANT OF IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
My information is that the yield of the flax crop in Ulster during the past year has been, on the whole, below that of an average year. The hon. Member has communicated to me some complaints as to the quality of the flax seed imported. I do not think it would be 603 possible to carry out the suggestion contained in the third paragraph of the Question, but it appears to me that the whole subject of flax culture is one which would justly engage the attention of a Board of Agriculture, when created.