HC Deb 13 January 1916 vol 77 cc1778-9
43. Mr. P. MEEHAN

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, to what extent the grants made by the Development Commissioners to the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society have been reduced or affected?


The Grants made from the Development Fund to the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society during the last three years have been as follows:—

For year ended 31st March, 1914 £4,000
For year ended 31st March, 1915 £5,000
For year ended 31st March, 1916 £5,970
The sum of £5,970 includes an emergency Grant of £3,000 to meet the special conditions in which the society has been placed by the War, and a special Grant of £1,000 for work in organising an increase of tillage among small farmers in the congested districts. In view of the close connection of the work of agricultural organisation societies with the question of food supply, the Development Commissioners are not recommending the reduction of Grants to either the English, Scottish or Irish Agricultural Organisation Societies.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say why a Grant to this private society has been made while similar Grants to public Departments, like the Department of Agriculture in Ireland, have been reduced or withdrawn?


I know nothing about the reductions, but as I happened to be Financial Secretary when this Grant was increased I can inform the hon. Member that it was undoubtedly owing to its extraordinary good work.