Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Purchase of Bulls.

asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he will state (a) how many bulls were purchased by his Department outside the Saorstát during the years 1927 and 1928; (b) what were the highest and average prices paid; (c) what were the highest and average prices paid at Perth and Belfast sales up to 1st March, 1929; (d) what are the results of their progeny, and how many premiums were awarded to their progeny in 1928 and up to 1st March, 1929.

(a) The numbers of bulls purchased by the Department outside the Saorstát in 1927 and 1928 were 238 and 102 respectively; (b) the highest individual prices paid were £1,260 in 1927 and £1,102 10s. in 1928. The average price paid in respect of all the bulls purchased— that is, purchased outside—was £52 11s. in 1927 and £63 in 1928; (c) the highest individual prices paid for bulls purchased in 1929, up to 1st March at Perth and Belfast were £420 and £131 5s. respectively. The average prices paid by the Department at these centres this year were respectively £75 and £71 5s.; (d) the progeny of the bulls purchased have proved of good quality and show a considerable improvement on the stock with which they were mated. With the exception of a very limited number of stock bulls purchased for mating with pedigree herds, the bulls imported by the Department are located in the congested districts, and are mated with cross-bred cows, the progeny of which is not eligible for premium. The progeny of stock bulls—that is to say, stock bulls purchased outside the Saorstát— placed in 1927 would not be of age for inspection for premium purposes in 1928, nor will the progeny of those placed in 1928 be eligible for inspection until 1930. In 1929, up to 1st March, nineteen out of fifty-two shorthorn premiums awarded went to the progeny of stock bulls purchased outside the Saorstát. With regard to their progeny for prize purposes, the following prizes were won by the progeny of these stock bulls at this year's Dublin Show:—Reserved Champion, 2nd and 3rd. First in February, March and April classes—practically a clean sweep of all the prizes. One of the progeny fetched £262 at the Dublin Sales, and high prices were also obtained at Cork, so that they are doing fairly well.

Do the Minister's figures include bulls bought in Derry and Perth for the Saorstát?

Mr. Hogan

They include bulls bought in Belfast and Perth, but not in Derry.