§ Mr. H. LAW
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that in certain districts of Ireland, notably in county Donegal, there is a shortage of food for milch cows and for horses engaged in farm work; and whether the War Office will consider the advisability of releasing part of the hay and other foods commandeered by them for the purpose of supplying this deficiency?
§ Mr. FORSTER
It is not proposed to release any of the hay bought, which is of a special quality most suitable for food for the Expeditionary Force horses, but the representative of the Forage Department in Ireland has already made arrangements to provide hay of suitable quality in all cases where genuine shortage exists.
§ Mr. FITZPATRICK
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he is aware that loss and inconvenience has been caused to farmers in Queen's County who sold hay to the military authorities last autumn by the failure up to the present of the military to take delivery and make payment for such hay; and, in view of the fact that farmers require immediate payment in order to enable them to meet the Land Commission and other payments which become due on the 1st May, the War Office will make an order for the delivery and payment of such hay?
§ Mr. FORSTER
Fifty per cent. of the value of all purchases is paid at time of purchase unless the vendor does not desire such advances. A further 25 per cent, can be obtained where urgently required, provided the Irish Advisory Committee recommend. Interest from the date of purchase to date of removal of the purchase at 5 per cent, on balance due is paid, also dryage allowance on a percentage scale. Supplies are purchased to cover twelve months' requirements, and delivery can only be taken as required. All vendors are quite aware of this at the time of sale, and it is for this reason that the payment of interest and dryage allowance is made.