Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cattle Export Quotas.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state what principle governed the allotment of shares in the fat cattle export quota; and what share of the quota was given to Mr. Patrick J. Killeen of Claremorris, County Mayo, in January, 1934; and further, if he will state what percentage of the number of fat cattle shipped by Mr. Killeen in January, 1933, did that share represent.

Dr. Ryan

Licences for the export of fat cattle for the first fortnight of January were allocated in proportion to the shipments by exporters during the month of January, 1933. Licences for the export of fat cattle for the second fortnight of January were allocated in proportion to shipments by exporters during the three months ended March, 1933. While the basis of allocation for the first fortnight of February remains the same, the number of licences allocated to the trade was much reduced by the fact that a proportion of the available licences was reserved for issue direct to feeders.

In regard to the concluding portion of the question, I am not prepared to state the number of licences given to any individual exporter, as to do so would be to make public the extent of his trade.

Is the Minister aware that at recent fairs in the Midlands Mr. Killeen was the only cattle, dealer in a position to buy fat cattle, owing to Government favouritism?

Dr. Ryan

I am informed that he was always a substantial buyer in these fairs.

Arising out of the Minister's reply——

Another bad egg.

A Clonmel heifer.

"John Brown."

I understood the Minister to say that the licences issued in the latter part of January were greatly reduced because some were reserved for feeders.

Dr. Ryan

The first half of February.

The question relates to the quota for January.

Dr. Ryan

I answered with regard to January also. In my answer I may have exceeded what I was asked, but at least I answered everything I was asked.

I submit that you did not exceed the question—that you did not come up to the demands of the question. You did not say how the licences were allocated for the last fortnight of January.

Dr. Ryan

I shall read that again. I said:—"Licences for the export of fat cattle for the second fortnight of January were allocated in proportion to shipments by exporters during the three months ended March, 1933,"—on the basis of the three months.

I do not know whether I am going to exceed my right, but I am following the Minister.

Dr. Ryan

Follow me and you will not go far astray.

I have helped to put the Minister straight and he should show a little gratitude.

You could not do it.

I attempted the impossible, perhaps. Are we to take it from the Minister's reply that 50 per cent. of the export licences will be given to the feeders for the first fortnight of February?

Dr. Ryan

Yes.

Is he aware that the licences he gave in January to the traders, amounting to 8,600, approximately, were worth £43,000 to the traders, taken out of the pockets of the feeders?

That question does not arise.