Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Rebate of Duty on Seed Oats.

asked the Minister for Finance to state the quantity (in tons) of seed oats imported into the Saorstát from Great Britain and Northern Ireland during the past six months and the amount of duty paid on same; and whether, as the small farmers in the West of Ireland are dependent on this type of oats for sowing, he will consider giving the small farmers in this area a rebate of the amount of duty paid.

The quantity of seed oats imported into the Saorstát from Great Britain and Northern Ireland during the period from the 24th October, 1931 (when the duty was imposed), to the 15th April, 1932, was 8,630 tons and the amount of duty paid on these oats was £14,510. While I am aware that it has been customary for small farmers in western counties to use in past years imported oats for seed purposes, the information before me indicates that adequate supplies of reasonably good samples of home grown seed oats were procurable this season and, in these circumstances, I cannot see my way to ask for an amendment of the law to permit the granting of the rebate referred to.

Is the Minister aware that most of the oats was required in County Mayo and in parts of Sligo and that the freight was 1/8 per cwt. as well as a duty of 1/8, making 3/4 per cwt.? There were other charges as well. Is it fair that poor tenant farmers in Mayo with valuations of from £4 to £5 should bear these charges? I say it is not. In other parts of the country oats are not graded for seed. They make them up in bulk. I ask the Minister to reconsider the question and to allow a rebate to poor farmers.

I understand that the Tariff Commission considered this question very carefully and made the recommendations given effect to in the resolution.