CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - PERMITS FOR SHOTGUNS.

To ask the Minister for Defence when he would, he prepared to allow permits to farmers for shotguns to enable them to protect their crops from the depredations of wild birds and vermin.

The matter of permitting farmers the use of shotguns to enable them to protect their crops has been constantly before the minds of the military authorities, and the necessity for permitting these at the earliest possible moment consistent with public safety is fully recognised. We have practically completed the shaping of a ready working machine to control the issue of permits for the holding of guns and the obtaining of ammunition. An assurance is given that the restrictions in these matters will be withdrawn at the earliest possible moment, either generally or in particular areas.