§ MR. EDWARD BARRY (Cork County, S.)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he is aware that the punctual payment of their instalments by the farmers who have purchased their holdings in Ireland under the Land Purchase Act of 1903, is dependent on the stock-rearing and butter industry of that country; whether, in view of the necessity for the Irish people to adopt the best methods in the manufacture and marketing of butter, to successfully meet foreign competition, to maintain a continuity of supply throughout the winter months as well as in spring, summer, and autumn, so as to safeguard against giving a monopoly to foreign countries in an interval of shortage in Irish supply; and, seeing that an outbreak of infectious disease in Irish cattle would ruin the butter trade for a season or, until the disease could be successfully stamped out, permanently affect our standing in the markets of this country, will steps be taken to secure the dairy cattle of Ireland against an outbreak of foot-and-mouth diseases by maintaining the existing embargo against the introduction of Canadian store cattle into these countries.
§ MR. EDWARD BARRY
had also given notice of the following Question: To ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he is aware that the outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease in 1882, caused loss to the stock-owners of Great Britain and Ireland, and also to the general consumers of meat in these countries as the result of the infection and the restrictions necessitated thereby; that the breeders of shorthorn and other pedigree cattle, and the general stock-owners who were dependent on those breeders for their bulls, sustained loss in having to use 1262 animals of inferior or no pedigree owing to the prohibition against removal from or to infected areas; and whether steps will immediately be taken to safeguard the general stock of the country, and to ensure an unbroken continuity of pedigree in the case of the pure-bred herds by a continuance of those precautions that have hitherto been adopted against the importation of Canadian and other cattle.
§ MR. SINCLAIR (for Sir EDWARD STRACHEY)
Perhaps I may be allowed to answer the two Questions at the same time, and to say, without entering into a detailed examination of the various sections of his Questions, that we take note of the reasons urged by the hon. Member in support of the maintenance of the existing law as to the importation of cattle from abroad.