asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he is aware that inconvenience and financial embarrassment are being caused to farmers in South Wilts, owing to the Government having failed hitherto to take delivery of or pay for the wool which now remains unsold upon their premises; and whether, seeing that under normal conditions sheep farmers in this district count upon receiving 75 per cent, of the value of their wool before the end of July and the balance before the holding of Britford Fair on the 12th August, and discharge thereout their rent and other current liabilities, he will take steps to ensure that the purchase of their wool shall now be carried through without further delay?
§ Mr. FORSTER
I am fully aware of the importance of purchasing wool from the farmers at the earliest possible date. Returns have now been received from the farmers in South Wilts giving the number of their fleeces, and instructions have been given to the authorised merchants to effect purchases with the least possible delay. A considerable quantity will be purchased in the course of the next few days.
§ Mr. KEATING
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he is aware that the new Regulations affecting the sale of wool in Ireland have seriously embarrassed the farmers, and in a number of cases have prevented them from meeting their current financial obligations; whether he will consider the advisability of full payment being made for wool on delivery; and will the Government pay the full current market prices existing at the time that the Wool Order came into force?
§ Mr. FORSTER
Purchases of wool in Ireland have been proceeding freely since the beginning of this month, and full payment is being made in the usual manner in accordance with the published price2080W list for the district. In any case, where the farmer experiences difficulty in selling his wool to his usual buyer, he should communicate with the Chief Executive Officer for Ireland, Wool Purchase Office, Grafton Street, Dublin. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.