§ 68. Sir G. FOX
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, with a view to assisting the Government in preventing the smuggling of dutiable animals from the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, he will take steps to reverse his decision that it is not practicable to take any effective steps to ascertain the origin of remounts purchased in Northern Ireland, and instruct the War Office buyers not to purchase any further horses in Northern Ireland without obtaining full particulars of their origin?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Duff Cooper)
The course suggested is impracticable, and I regret that I am unable to reverse the decision already given.
§ Sir G. FOX
Is it not desirable that those figures should be obtained at the earliest possible opportunity, seeing that after the Finance Bill is on the Statute Book it will be obligatory to make these returns in certain circumstances?
§ 69. Sir G. FOX
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office what was 1944 the cost during the past financial year of keeping in touch with the Irish Free State market for remounts; what was the number of those purchased in that market during the past financial year; whether that especially suitable remount of the light-draught type previously obtained in the Irish Free State market is now being obtained to any extent in Northern Ireland after importation from the Irish Free State; and, if so, whether, seeing that the expense of keeping in touch with the Irish Free State market itself can no longer be justified, he will consider a change of policy in this matter?
§ Mr. COOPER
I do not think that there was any extra cost, since the travelling expenses of purchasing officers arise in whatever district remounts are purchased. 168 remounts at an average cost of a little over £44 were purchased from the Irish Free State during the past financial year. I am not aware of the place of origin of remounts now bought in Northern Ireland and no change of policy is contemplated.