asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will permit geese and other poultry, exclusive of turkeys, to be sent as gifts to Irish families in England, during the Christmas season.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Xmas Poultry Gifts.
asked the Minister for Agriculture if, in view of the strong demand to send gift turkeys to relatives in Great Britain, he will now reconsider his attitude towards this matter and allow parents and friends here to send turkeys as gifts to their relations in Great Britain.
asked the Minister for Agriculture if he is aware that, under the gift scheme in operation in Northern Ireland, individuals are permitted to send 28 lb. of poultry, including turkeys, to their friends in Great Britain; and if, in view of such facilities in Northern Ireland, he will consider seeking the co-operation of the British Minister of Food and having similar facilities made available for this country, so that Irish people in Great Britain can receive, for the Christmas season, turkey gifts from their families at home.
asked the Minister for Agriculture if a definite agreement was entered into with the British Government whereby the export of turkeys as Christmas gifts would be prohibited; and if, in view of the hardship which this prohibition entails, he will seek to have it modified or removed at once.
With your permission, a Chinn Comhairle, I propose to answer Questions Nos. 41, 43, 44 and 45 together.
As regards turkeys I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to Deputy Doyle on 13th November. Licences for the export of other poultry were not given in the past and I am not prepared to alter that practice. I am not familiar with the arrangements regarding the sending of gifts from the Six Counties to Great Britain.
Arising out of the Minister's reply on Question 44, I informed the Minister in my question that the people in Northern Ireland are permitted to send gifts up to 28 lbs. weight of poultry, including turkeys. Will the Minister say for what reason he denies to our people here similar facilities to send turkeys to their friends and relatives in Great Britain? Will the Minister give us some valid reason?
Our grievance against the British Ministry of Food last year was that they were placing us in the same category as other countries in relation to our turkeys. After a complaint on our part they proceeded to mend their hand to some extent. This year my main responsibility was to secure for the producers here parity with the British producer in so far as price is concerned. Having secured that, the British Ministry of Food made the suggestion that we should agree to send our turkeys through their organisation. If I wanted to take up the attitude of members of the Opposition who would like to have their cake and eat it, I could make their case, but I think that attitude would be unreasonable.
Will the Minister relate that to gifts?
Surely it is the British Government who have the right to say whether gifts will come into that country or not?
Is it the policy of the British Government and our Government that our people should be denied privileges that people in Northern Ireland enjoy? Will the Minister relate what he has said to the question of gifts?
It is the policy of this Government, and I think it should be the policy of any sensible person, that when you are selling a commodity and get a price that you think is fair and reasonable, it is surely the right of the person or persons buying that commodity to give some indication of the conditions under which they will receive it.
What has that to do with our people sending gifts to their friends in Great Britain?
The Deputy is not so innocent as not to appreciate the full implications of the gift system. Of course, he thinks that it has some other importance which he is trying to develop here, but the people are too intelligent to fall for that kind of thing.