HC Deb 09 January 1913 vol 46 cc1359-60
37. Mr. GUINEY

asked the number of tons of hay and straw exported from Ireland during the year ended 30th September last; and what percentage of the total amount was shipped from ports in Con-naught and Munster, respectively?


The information asked for is not yet available, as the Returns of exports received by the Department from harbour authorities, shipping companies, etc., at Irish ports for the year ended 30th September last are not yet complete.

39. Mr. J. P. FARRELL

asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he is aware that a considerable trade in the export of hay and straw was being done between the town of Longford and South Wales; whether this trade has been stopped by the embargo on Irish hay export; whether he is aware that to a number of small farmers in county Longford this trade was almost a necessity of existence; and whether he will represent to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries the justice of removing this embargo, particularly as no case of cattle disease occurred in county Longford?


There is a considerable trade of this kind between Ireland and South Wales, but the Department have no special information as to what proportion of it comes from the town of Longford. The admission into Great Britain of hay and straw from Ireland is at present prohibited. Communications as regards a modification of the embargo have been passing between the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Department, and my right hon. Friend the President of the Board has recently stated in reply to questions in Parliament that in about a fortnight's time he hoped to be in a position to announce when a relaxation of the existing restrictions can take effect.


Can the right hon. Gentleman hold out any prospect of this embargo being removed in the near future?


The hon. Member should put that question to my right hon. Friend.


Having regard to the fact that no foot-and-mouth disease exists in the North of Ireland, and the great loss caused to farmers through the inability to export hay at the present juncture, will the right hon. Gentleman consult the President of the Board of Agriculture and ask whether it is not possible to remove the restrictions which entail such serious loss?


That is a question for my right hon. Friend, with whom I am in consultation.


Taking into account the fact that the chance of infection is very small as between the East and West of Ireland, in view of the fact that there is no traffic in cattle from the East to the West, and that these restrictions are very vexatious, will the right hon. Gentleman have them removed?


I have nothing to add to what I have already said.


Will the President of the English Board of Agriculture remove this embargo?


He will, if you vote against him.