§ Mr. MacVEAGH
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many bags of sowing flax seed the Government took over from Irish seed merchants at the end of last season; whether this seed has been offered again to the trade for distribution; whether the Government sold all the sowing flax seed which they took over from the Irish merchants at the end of last season, together with the flax seed which they had purchased in Russia, to one merchant without taking into consideration the needs of other seed merchants in regard to this seed; and will he say what price the Government paid for this seed when they took it over and at what price they sold it to the merchant referred to?
§ Mr. DUKE
I am informed that 1,000 bags of Dutch sowing flax seed were taken over from the seed merchants by the Government in accordance with an undertaking; and that this seed was not offered to the trade for distribution, but was resold to the merchants from whom it had been taken over at their request. The residue of the seed in the hands of the Government amounted to 4,900 bags only of Russian and Dutch flax seed, and was sold to one firm on condition that it should be redressed and recleaned, for which purpose special machinery is required. The Government took the seed over at cost price, including all charges incurred, and sold it at a price which merely covered actual expenses.