asked the Minister for Agriculture if it is a fact that he agreed to pay double duty on all stock purchased prior to the 8th or 9th November last provided that the animals were tariffed at the rate of 40 per cent. on landing in Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and, if so, if he will state why it is that the double bounty on such cattle shipped on the boat that sailed from Dublin at 1.50 on the morning of the 10th November last was not granted, and if he has taken into account the fact that the cattle were on the shipping company's premises and inspected and valued by the Department's inspectors on the 9th November, and that their shipment was only delayed because of the company not having a boat ready for sailing at midnight, and if in view of this he will favourably consider granting the bounty asked for by the owners.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Double Bounty on Cattle.
The reply to the opening portion of the question is in the negative, as the decision of the Executive Council specifically restricted the payment of double bounties to consignments of cattle actually exported on the 8th and 9th November last. The cattle referred to in the question were shipped on 10th November and were not, therefore, entitled to the payment of double bounty. I am fully aware of the circumstances connected with the shipment of these cattle, but, for the reason indicated, I am not in a position to give favourable consideration to the proposal referred to in the concluding portion of the question.
Will the Minister say that the reason he is not prepared to give further consideration to the matter is that the Executive Council specifically restricted the increased bounty to cattle exported on 8th and 9th November last, and is he aware that in one of these cases it is a question of cattle being shipped from New Ross on the morning of the 9th November and which were not exported from the port of Dublin until 1.50 on the following morning because of difficulties experienced by the shipping companies, difficulties that had nothing at all to do with the shipper himself and that in fact if the difficulties had not arisen the cattle would have been shipped that night?
It is true that the cattle were shipped within two hours after midnight on 9th November, but we have to draw the line at some particular hour and if we were to say that we would give until six o'clock on the following morning, perhaps it would be found that cattle went out after that hour. There were various consignments going out across the land border as well as across the sea borders. As a matter of fact we gave 24 hours longer than was originally intended. This concession was to extend at first only until 8th November, but afterwards it was extended to 9th.
If the concession were given in order to remedy a definite hardship arising out of the unexpected imposition of an increased tariff, will the Minister not take into consideration the case of persons who lost the benefit of this concession arising out of a pure accident, and where if the normal trend of competing services had been running this concession would have been given? I submit to the Minister that there is very great hardship in the case in which a person through the normal channel finds his shipment one and a half hours late because of the fact that there was an accident arising within that normal channel. Will the Minister reconsider the matter, because there are a limited number of cases?
I have considered this very carefully; various deputations have come to us from the interests concerned.
Will the Minister further reconsider the question in cases where an accident happened—an accident that stopped the normal channel of transmission and where it stopped it only for one and a half hours longer than the period for which the Minister arranged?
These accidents often occur.