§ 19. Captain SHEEHAN
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether complaint has been made by the Cork Industrial Development Association of the delay in publishing the annual Returns of Irish trade, agriculture, fisheries, banking, railway, and shipping for the year 1916; and can he explain why these vital statistics of Irish commercial life have not been published at an earlier date?
§ Mr. SAMUELS
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. In the present emergency new statistical Returns of vital importance are urgently required and many of these Returns have been compiled by the Department of Agriculture for Ireland. Though the trained staff has been depicted through enlistment in His Majesty's Forces, the tabulation of the usual annual Returns is well advanced, but publication of some of them has been necessarily delayed, and only those containing matters of urgent importance have been published earlier than heretofore. No unnecssary delay will take place in the issue of the Returns to which the hon. Member refers.