HC Deb 16 March 1922 vol 151 cc2345-6
18. Mr. W. SHAW

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland the total sum expended by the Irish Department of Agriculture in connection with the Finlay Royal Commission on the Importation of Cattle; and whether such sum includes the expenses of their witnesses?

The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Sir Hamar Greenwood)

In regard to the first portion of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply upon this subject given on 22nd February to the hon. and gallant Member for Central Aberdeen. The reply to the concluding portion of the question is in the negative. Three officers of the Department gave evidence before the Commission, and the comparatively small expense in connection with their attendance in London covered other business besides that of the Royal Commission.

Captain W. BENN

Are we to understand that one Government Department spent public money opposing a decision which the Government itself enforced, and is that Cabinet responsibility?


There was no Government money spent in this particular matter. The hon. and gallant Gentleman has misunderstood me.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the Irish Department opposed, and the Scottish Department supported, the suggestion that the embargo should be removed?

Captain BENN

Civil war!


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Government's refusal to adopt the recommendations of the Findlay Royal Commission, and to raise the embargo on Canadian cattle, has been officially notified to the Dominion Government; and whether or not any communication has been received from the Dominion Government regarding this matter?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Churchill)

The reply to the first part of the question is in the negative. As to the second, I would refer to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture on 13th March to a question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose Burghs.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether or not the pledge given to Canada at the Imperial Conference of 1917 still holds good?


That does not arise out of the question.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the action of the Government in for long postponing consideration of this question and at length appointing a Royal Commission and then acting contrary to its recommendations has undermined confidence in the sincerity of the Government and given grave offence in Canada?

Major M. WOOD

Would the right hon. Gentleman—


We have a speech every time this question comes up.