Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fertiliser Exports.

2.

asked the Taoiseach the countries to which compound fertilisers were exported during the last 12 months; and the amount exported to each country and the price per ton realised.

During the year 1973 compound fertilisers were exported to Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Libya. The quantities exported and the average FOB price per metric ton obtained were:

Great Britain

29,868 m.t. @ £35.10

Northern Ireland and

5,741 m.t. @ £34.16

Libya

4,978 m.t. @ £48.11

The question of nitrogen is involved here. There are large numbers of cattle in east Cork because nobody will buy them. Can the Parliamentary Secretary tell the House what happened to the nitrogen? Was it transferred or exported? It was exported to Europe——

This is Question Time. The Deputy has already asked his question.

The Deputy knows I am responsible for giving the figures, not for commenting on the facts behind them.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the prices he quoted are much cheaper than Irish farmers had to pay? Is it not a fact that we exported compound fertiliser at a cheaper price to the British and the Libyans than our farmers are paying?

Might I ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether the Irish farmers have been starved of certain essential fertilisers as a result of what can only be described as a racket by NET in getting markets abroad while closing all imports to this country and leaving farmers, with a very bad year's grass, in a worse position than they have ever been in before?

I am responsible, as I have just said, for giving the House and the Deputies who ask questions of a statistical kind statistical information. If they wish to pursue the matters behind that information they ought to put down separate questions.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that calves that were bought at £70 apiece in Mitchelstown fair——

That is not relevant to this question.

——in-calf heifers, are now being bought for £50?

We must pass on to the next question.