§ Mr. P. MEEHAN
asked the Under secretary of State for War if he is aware that the baling of hay purchased by the Government has not been commenced in the Stradbally district of Queen's County; if he is aware that this hay since purchased has lost about 20 per cent, in weight by drying, and the farmers will consequently lose proportionally in price; if he is aware that the farmers have been kept out of their money since last September with the bank rate of interest at 6½ per cent, while the Government only pay 5 per cent. on the unpaid purchase money; if he is aware that the farmers require their hay sheds, at present filled with unbaled Government hay, to store the coming crop; if he is aware that when the baling is deferred to this period of the year it means having to take away men from important crop work to attend to the baling; and whether he intends to take action to relieve the farmers from the losses sustained by them owing to the delay in the baling of the hay?360W
§ Mr. FORSTER
The conditions of purchase in Ireland, as in all parts of the United Kingdom, are that delivery is to be made when required, and this condition is one of those on the actual purchase note which each vendor agrees to and signs. Clause 3 of the purchase note also provides for dryage being paid at 5 per cent, for each of the months of January and February, and 10 per cent. in March, or a total of 20 per cent, on deliveries made on or after 1st March. Interest at 5 per cent, is also paid on all final payments in respect of each purchase from 31st October if purchased prior to that date, or from date of purchase, if at a later date, to date of completion of delivery. It is obvious that all hay bought cannot be baled at once, and that it must of necessity be spread over the twelve months, consequently some districts must be left to the last, but endeavours are always made to arrange that those districts that were last one year are taken first the next. It is hoped to complete entirely the baling of all hay bought in Ireland by 31st July this year.