HC Deb 27 February 1917 vol 90 cc1851-2

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, whether he has received a resolution from the Naas Urban Council, county Kildare, viewing with alarm the reported refusal by the Department of Agriculture to allow motor ploughs to be distributed in county Kildare for the use of farmers who are compelled under penalties to till a proportion of their holdings; is he aware that the northern part of county Kildare is largely grazing land, where tillage is forgotten and implements and skill are in negligible quantity; and, seeing that the only chance of complying with the Order to till is in providing motor ploughs, will he take care that the farmers are helped and not obstructed by the said Department in providing machinery essential to the required cultivation?


The Department of Agriculture have received the resolution referred to, and they are aware of the conditions existing in the northern portion of county Kildare, and are making arrangements whereby this district may receive its due proportion of the comparatively limited number of tractors which are likely to be available. I would also refer to the reply given to the hon. Member for the Ossory Division of Queen's County yesterday.


Does this Department intend to complete its work when the War is over?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a firm in Dublin ordered over 100 of these motor tractors from America long before the Order for compulsory tillage was made by the Agricultural Department, that those have been sold by the firm to which I referred, and that now they are prohibited front executing the orders that their travellers took on a former occasion?


I am quite sure if the tractor is on the spot anywhere in Ireland the orders will be executed, but neither the Chief Secretary nor any other official can possibly control the arrival of tractors, from the United States.