HC Deb 21 November 1938 vol 341 cc1333-4
42. Sir Henry Morris-Jones

asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of cattle and sheep admitted into this country from the Irish Free State since the coming into force of the Anglo-Eire Agreement, and the number for, approximately, a similar period before the agreement came into force?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

As the reply includes a table of figures I propose, with my hon. Friend's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Sir H. Morris-Jones

Will my right hon. Friend indicate whether there is an increase or a decrease?

Mr. Morrison

There is an increase, but the conditions immediately before the treaty was signed were rather exceptional, as beasts were held up on the other side in anticipation of the treaty being signed.

Sir H. Morris-Jones

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in addition to the other causes which have caused a slump in the prices of sheep and lambs, these imports from the Irish Free State have particularly hit the North Wales farmers?

Mr. Morrison

The increase is negligible as regards that.

Following is the reply:

The following table shows the imports from Eire, so far as figures are available, of all classes of cattle and of sheep since the 19th May, 1938, when the trade agreement with that country came into operation, as compared with imports in the corresponding periods of 1937.

1937. 1938.
Cattle. Numbers. Numbers.
19th May-12th November 335,801 412,617
Sheep and Lambs.
June-October 203,227 212,070

I should add that prior to 19th May there was a noticeable decline in imports of cattle, both because traders concerned were awaiting the outcome of the negotiations and because the prevailing drought in Great Britain delayed the normal stocking of pastures with Irish stores. After that date there was a compensatory increase in the numbers arriving in this country.

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