§ MR. DOLAN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether Sir Horace Plunkett granted £2,000 towards the promotion of an international exhibition in Ireland, notwithstanding the condemnation of the project by the Council of Agriculture; and, if so, by what authority did Sir Horace Plunkett make this grant out of public funds.
The resolution of the Council of Agriculture alluded to in the Question advised, not against any contribution, but against any substantial contribution. It was as follows, "That while we do not wish in any way to discourage any such undertaking as an international or a national exhibition, we do not consider that the various imperative calls on the limited funds of the Department will leave them sufficient resources to justify the Department in making any substantial contribution to the funds of any industrial exhibition in the immediate future." This resolution was considered at a meeting of the Agricultural Board on 22nd May last, when it was agreed that the Department of Agriculture should not make any grant for the general purposes of the Exhibition, nor undertake to organise a special exhibit. The question as to whether any arrangements not involving large expenditure might be made for helping small struggling industries to exhibit their products was also discussed by the Agricultural Board, and with their definite concurrence a sum of £2,000 was set aside to be used for this purpose, in the event of its being found that such arrangement would be beneficial. This sum is being applied for the purpose mentioned.
I am aware that there is a difference of opinion with regard to this matter, but as it is a matter which is within the province of the Board, I see no reason to interfere.