§ 60. General M'CALMONT
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware of the effect that the Butter (Ireland) Order of the 3rd January, 1918, is having upon the Irish butter-making industry; whether there is already a marked decrease in the number of milch cows; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure that an industry of such value to the United Kingdom shall be preserved?
§ Mr. CLYNES
I cannot agree that the Butter (Ireland) Order, 1917, is having an adverse effect upon the Irish butter-making industry. I am aware that there has been a slight decrease in the number of milch cows in Ireland, due largely to increased exportation to Great Britain. The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland has, however, recently issued an Order prohibiting the export of milch cows from Ireland. As I have already stated, as soon as any surplus butter becomes available in Ireland, those producers and merchants, who in 1916 exported butter to Great Britain, will be permitted to resume their export trade, subject to the necessary control of distribution by the Ministry of Food.
§ General M'CALMONT
Is the House to understand from the hon. Gentleman that the Ministry is satisfied that there has been no reduction in the amount of butter produced in Ireland as a result of this compared with other years?
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Are we to understand that no butter is to be exported from Ireland until there is an actual surplus there, and why cannot there be equal distribution as between British subjects in all parts of the United Kingdom?