HC Deb 04 March 1918 vol 103 cc1722-3W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food if he will state how many potato growers in each of the four provinces of Ireland applied for and are allowed payment under the potato guarantee price for 1917; and what is the total amount paid, or to be paid, in each province?


Four thousand eight hundred and nine claims for compensation under the Potatoes Order No. 2, 1917, have been submitted by the Irish potato growers for the period ending 31st December last. Three thousand of these have been paid, the total payments amounting to £44,450. The amount that will be paid in respect of the 1,809 claims outstanding cannot be stated until after such claims have been fully examined. Separate figures for the four provinces cannot be given at present.


asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) who was consulted in fixing the price of potatoes to Irish producers; and why a discrimination has been made between Irish and English prices?


I would refer the hon. Member to the replies given by the Ministry of Food and the Chief Secretary to questions on this subject by the hon. Member for North Dublin on the 18th February.


asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether that Department advised the Food Controller, or any other head of any other Department of the Government, that a guaranteed price ought not to be paid to producers of potatoes in Ireland for the production of potatoes in the year 1918?


The conditions under which potato prices for 1918 were arrived at were fully stated by the representative of the Ministry of Food on 18th February in answer to the hon. and learned Member. It is not in the public interest that the advice of the various Departments who are consulted before the decisions of the Food Controller are arrived at should be published either in answer to questions or otherwise.