HC Deb 23 June 1915 vol 72 cc1173-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will take advantage of the presence of Sir Thomas Shaughnessy in London to ascertain, in view of the founding of peat industries in Ireland for the manufacture of fuel and charcoal, the probable extent of the Canadian demand for those commodities, the facilities for distribution there, and the prospect of a direct service of steamers between Canada and the West Coast of Ireland?


The inquiries suggested would, I think, be more properly made by the promoters of the enterprise which the hon. Gentleman has in view.


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will say on whose evidence, or as the result of what experiments, the Department holds that wasteful hand-made fuel is a more profitable use of peat than efficient engine fuel, charcoal, gas, sulphate of ammonia, and acetic acid from the same substance by the Zohrab process, British throughout; will he say when and where the Department tested that process, and with what results; whether he recognises that the attitude of the Department amounts to prevention of an extensive industry and of the development of a native resource now lying idle; and, in view of the present prices for the commodities named and the willingness of some owners of extensive bogs in Ireland to place them at the disposal of the Department, will he say what the Department is doing or proposes to do in this matter?

Mr. T. W. RUSSELL (Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture, Ireland)

In reply to the former portion of this question, I must refer the hon. Member to the very full reply given to him on 9th instant relative to the investigations carried out by the Department on the subject of various processes of manufacturing peat fuel by machinery. The Department have not, so far, inquired into the particular process referred to by the hon. Member. Their views in regard to the general question of hand-made as against machine-made peat fuel, as suitable to existing Irish conditions, were fully explained in the reply above referred to. The Department are at all times willing, so far as possible, to assist private enterprise in the development of the peat deposits of Ireland.