§ MR.. J. DEVLIN
To ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he is aware that there is a decrease of 16¼ per cent. in the flax-growing area in Ireland this year as compared with 1907; whether he could give any reason for this decrease; and if he could state in what particular districts the decrease was greatest.
(Answered by Mr. T. W. Russell.) The Department understand from reports received that the acreage under flax in Ireland this year is less than in 1907. As the agricultural statistics for 1908 are not yet available, it is not possible at present to state the extent of the decrease in acreage nor the districts in which the decrease is most marked. Th decrease reported is, in the view of the Department, mainly due to the following circumstances: (1) In some districts the 1907 crop gave a lower yield and was of poorer quality than usual; (2) owing to the depression in the linen trade smaller prices were realised by the growers for scutched flax of the 1907 crop.