§ MR. BARRIE (Londonderry, N.)
I beg to ask the Vice-President of that Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether the flax seed supplied by the Department to farmers in County Londonderry as prizes for success in growing flax last season has proved to be of a description suitable only for oil production and feeding purposes, quite unsuited for cultivation in Ireland, and of little commercial value; whether the object of giving these prizes was to encourage the growth of flax fibre suitable for linen manufacture; whether, in the circumstances, the Department will consider the advisability of compensating the farmers concerned for the loss which they are now certain to sustain; whether the flax seed in question was bought from firms of repute and with a guarantee of its suitability; and, if so, what action the Department proposes to take against these firms, and will their names be published.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
All the flax seed supplied this year by the Department to farmers in Londonderry and elsewhere in Ulster for prizes under the scheme for encouraging the cultivation of flax was procured from firms of repute who had hitherto supplied satisfactory seed to the Department. Portion of the seed, purchased as Riga Child, from a certain firm this year has unfortunately proved to be an unsuitable variety for Irish purposes, and this firm has been notified that the Department hold them responsible for any loss which may have been incurred. The Department are at present in communication with the farmers concerned as well as with the firm in. 95 question, and they do not consider it advisable to make any further statement pending the conclusion of this correspondence.