HC Deb 28 May 1908 vol 189 cc1253-4
MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)

To ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) if he is aware that at the last show of the Fermanagh Farming Society the classes for agricultural and hackney stallions were cancelled; if so, were the members of the committee consulted; is he is aware that the society is at present in serious financial difficulties; and whether, in view of this fact, he will cause the annual grant to be withheld until full inquiry is made into the matter.

(Answered by Mr. I. W. Russell.) The last show of the Fermanagh Farming Society was held on 31st July, 1907. Prizes were not offered for hackney stallions either at this show or at the show held by the society in 1906. Prizes were offered for agricultural stallions in 1906, but not in 1907. The schedule of prizes for the 1907 show was approved by the County Fermanagh Committee of Agriculture at the meeting held on 5th April, 1907, and was afterwards sanctioned by the Department. The audited balance sheet for 1907 shows that after an expenditure of £380 had been met a sum of £22 16s. 6d. only was due to the treasurer of the society, which cannot be regarded as indicating that the society is in serious financial difficulties. The shows held by this society have been well conducted, and have served the needs of farmers residing within a very large district. There appear to be no grounds for instituting inquiry into the affairs of the society, or for withholding the subsidy (£106) which has already been provisionally allocated in aid of the forthcoming show by the county committee, with the approval of the Department.