§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)
I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether his attention has been drawn to a resolution of the County Dublin Farmers' Association protesting against the continued importation of foreign hay, straw, and other commodities constituting mediums through which foot-and-mouth and other diseases are introduced into Ireland, and suggesting that all such commodities before being landed should be subjected to a rigid examination, or excluded if coming from countries where such diseases are known to exist; whether his attention has been directed to another resolution, passed by the association mentioned, to the effect that, in view of the ever present danger of the introduction of foot-and-mouth and other diseases being introduced into Ireland from abroad, all Government advertisements for tenders for hay, straw, and corn, should expressly stipulate for home-grown products of the kind mentioned; and whether any, and, if so, what action will be taken in these matters.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
The attention of the Department has been drawn to the resolutions referred to. I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by me on Monday to a Question put by the hon. Member for South Roscommon, in which I stated the action taken and about to be taken by the Department respecting the prohibition of imports of hay and straw from countries infected with foot-and-mouth disease. It is not considered that sufficient grounds at present exist for interference with the importation of any other commodities. The Department cannot interfere with the discretion of other Government Departments as regards the terms of advertisements of the nature referred to. The Department do not purchase foreign hay, straw, or corn. Any supplies of these commodities that they require for their own purposes are obtained locally.