§ 28. Mr. FURNESS
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that, under the trade agreement with the Irish Free State, the central council of coal-owners has given an undertaking to the Irish Free State coal importers that Northern Ireland shall not receive more favourable treatment than is accorded to buyers in the Irish Free State; will he state by what authority they were able to give such a guarantee; and why the business of coal exporting and coal importing between Northern Ireland and Great Britain should be affected by an agreement between this country and the Irish Free State?
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
No such undertaking has been or could be given under the terms of the commercial arrangement with the Irish Free State; lout I understand that by voluntary agreement between representatives of the colliery owners in the United Kingdom and of coal buyers in the Irish Free State, the latter will not as a general rule receive less favourable treatment than is accorded to buyers in Northern Ireland. The second and third parts of the question do not, therefore, arise.