HC Deb 26 February 1917 vol 90 cc1692-3

asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), having regard to the fact that agriculture is only one of many indusrties in Great Britain while it is the main industry in Ireland, and to the desire of the Government to encourage it there, if he will state the total amount of his applications on behalf of this industry to the Development Commissioners in the year ending 31st March, 1916; on what Irish authority he rested satisfied with a total grant of £12,570, while a total grant of £134,467 was made for similar purposes in Great Britain; what is the amount of his applications for the current year; and, if that amount be not given, what course he and his consultative authorities propose to-take in the matter?


The Department of Agriculture inform me that the amount applied for from the Development Fund for agricultural purposes in the year 1915–16 was £14,100. The amount approved was £5,600, and a sum of £8,500 was provided in the Parliamentary Vote. The amount applied for in 1916–17 is £6,100, and a sum of £8,000 is to be included specially in the Estimates. In making such applications the Department act with the concurrence of the Agricultural Board, and they have no reason to suppose that their applications will be refused.


Will the right hon. Gentleman inform the House what is the explanation of this disparity set out in the question, and if the Department cannot get what they apply for in the our rent year, what course they will adopt?


I will wait until the contingency becomes a fact, if it does.