§ Mr. HUGH BARRIE
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) if he can give the quantities of potatoes exported from Ireland to England and Scotland in 1911 and in 1912; 1200W and can he say, approximately, how many were re-exported to foreign countries?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The total quantity of potatoes exported from Ireland to England and Scotland in the year 1911 was 173,026 tons. The figures for the year 1912 are not yet available. The Department cannot say what proportion of the potatoes shipped from Ireland to Great Britain are re-exported to foreign countries.
§ Mr. C. CRAIG
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether, in view of the loss to Irish farmers resulting from the prohibition by the United States of America of the importation of potatoes from the United Kingdom owing to the prevalence of black scab in certain parts of England and Scotland, and in view of the fact that there has been no case of black scab in Ireland for two years, he will approach the American Government with a view to the removal of the prohibition so far as Ireland is concerned; and whether, as an additional guarantee and inducement to the American Government to remove the prohibition as regards Ireland, he will undertake to prohibit the importation into Ireland of potatoes from England, Wales, and Scotland?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
In December last the Department caused representations to the Government of the United States to be made through the Foreign Office with a view to the relaxation of the restrictions on the importation of Irish potatoes to the United States. A reply has been received to the effect that the chance of any relaxation of the existing law is at present remote, even if Scotland and Ireland were completely free from wart disease, inasmuch as there are two other diseases of potatoes both prevalent in the United Kingdom against which quarantine regulations would operate. It is not proposed to take the steps suggested in the latter part of the question.