§ Mr. SANDYS
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether his attention has been called to a recent prosecution instituted by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction against Barmack, Limited, New Street, Dublin, in which it was stated by counsel for the Department that the case had been brought against a Manchester firm of English merchants doing injury to trade in Ireland; whether to meet this objection the counsel for the defence stated that the head office was in Dublin and that some of the largest shareholders were Irishmen; if he will say whether an English firm trading in Ireland should not have equal rights with an Irish firm; and, if so, why the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction raised this objection?
§ Mr. T. W. RUSSELL (Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture, Ireland)
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. In the course of his remarks counsel for the Department made the statement referred to, but it is incorrect to infer that this statement indicated that in cases of prosecution for breaches of the Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act the Department desired to discriminate against non-Irish firms. It is hardly necessary to state that such discrimination is never made by the Department.
§ Mr. SANDYS
If that is so how does the right hon. Gentleman account for the fact that the counsel appearing for the defence raised the point that, as a matter of fact, in spite of the allegation made by the 970 counsel for the prosecuton, this was, in reality an Irish firm and the larger portion of the shareholders were Irishmen?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
I have looked into the matter since the hon. Member put the question on the Paper, and I do not think it is Irish.