HC Deb 15 March 1809 vol 13 cc539-40

The house resolved itself into a committee on the motion of Mr. Foster, to consider of the expediency of encouraging, by bounties, the saving of Flax Seed, the growth of Ireland.

Mr. Foster

observed that this was a subject which nearly concerned the very existence of the linen manufacture in Ireland. For although the flax which supplied that manufacture was almost wholly the growth of Ireland, yet Ireland was indebted for the seed to an annual supply from America, Holland, and the countries in the Baltic; the consequence of which was a considerable failure in the supply of the last year. It was desirable to obviate, if possible, such failures in future, by rendering Ireland independent of other countries for her supply, by encouraging as much as possible the saving of the home grown seed. This he thought would be best done in the first instance, by allowing a certain bounty per bushel upon all seed, the growth of Ireland, so saved, to be disbursed under the direction of the Linen Board; and he concluded by moving That it is expedient to devote a sum of 20,000l. on the present year for that purpose, which was agreed to.—Ordered to be reported to morrow.