HC Deb 13 May 1918 vol 106 c24
43. Major McMICKING

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether Irish cattle have been selling for at least 100s. per live cwt., while the price of British cattle has been limited by regulation to 76s. per live cwt.; whether steps are being taken to put a stop to this anomaly; and whether any Government Department, by means of a subsidy, has in any case adjusted the difference in price between Irish and British cattle to the purchaser?


With regard to the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer given on this subject on Thursday, 11th April. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.


Is my hon. Friend aware that meetings have been held in Scotland emphatically protesting against the action of his Department in this matter, and will he give an undertaking that for the future, when prices are being fixed, all parts of the United Kingdom shall receive equal treatment?


As to the latter part of the question, I may inform the hon. Member that the Ministry of Food do not wish to give any privilege whatever to cattle dealers in Ireland. As to the protests, I think some of them seem to have been made under a misapprehension.


Why is it right to fix prices for British farmers and not to fix prices for Irish farmers?


It is right in these times to fix prices in both countries, but in Ireland there has been some delay owing to difficulties.


Is it not the fact that Ireland is a neutral country, and what right have you to interfere?

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