§ Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that the increased quarantine imposed on Irish cattle practically amounts to the ruin of the store cattle trade, which is now nearing the close of the season; whether he is aware that the port of Cork is more than 100 miles distant from Mullingar; that no case of infections disease has occurred anywhere within 100 miles of that port, and that no case of disease has been reported amongst the thousands of cattle, sheep, and pigs landed in England from Cork during the past few months; and whether, under these circumstances, anything can be done to save the remnant of the Munster cattle trade from destruction before it is too late?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I fully realise and much regret the loss arising by reason of 2405W the existing regulations affecting the Irish store cattle trade, and I had hoped that in the absence of any extension of the disease some further relief might have been given at no very distant date. But I think the hon. Member will recognise that the occurrence of outbreaks so far west as Mullingar, is a very serious circumstance which I am bound to take into account, and that until the outlook improves it is not possible for me to modify the conditions under which store cattle are admitted.
§ Mr. PATRICK WHITE
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, having regard to the fact that, in response to the request and needs of British agriculturists, he has permitted the trucking through England of Irish store cattle, and that up to the present he has refused every request addressed to him by Irish deputationists, he will now concede the concession applied for by those representing the consumers, butchers and allied trades in Manchester, to permit the landing of fat stock in that market for immediate slaughter, which in the opinion of the experts of the Irish Department would be attended with no possible danger; and whether, in considering the matter, he will take into account the allegations that a foreign ring is gradually getting control of the meat suply of this country at the expense alike of English traders and Irish producers, and that in the opinion of the interested and injured parties the best way to antidote the manipulations of the alien ring is by the opening of the inland markets to Irish cattle from healthy areas for immediate slaughter?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I can assure the hon. Member that I have taken into account all the various considerations to which he refers, but under existing circumstances I regret that I do not see my way at present to allow the movement of Irish stock to inland markets from the various wharves and landing places at which they are received.