HC Deb 02 May 1809 vol 14 cc337-8
Mr. Foster

rose to move for leave to bring in a bill for contriving the means of draining and reclaiming the Bogs of Ireland. That this measure was desirable no man acquainted with Ireland could hesitate to admit, and that it was practicable must be obvious from a consideration of the state of the Bog of Allen, which was the largest Bog in that country. It was ascertained through the locks erected upon the canals, that the solid earth was not less than 180 feet above the level of the sea. Of course no doubt could exist as to the practicability of draining it. The object of his bill was to appoint commissioners who should undertake without salaries to examine the other Bogs of Ireland, and to suggest the means by which they might be drained, and the interests of all proprietors conciliated. The expence of such Commissioners was not to exceed an allowance to surveyors, or the persons immediately employed in exploring the Bogs. As to the benefits likely to result from this undertaking, the right hon. gentleman thought it unnecessary to say more, than that half the ground of those reclaimed Bogs, converted to purposes of agriculture, would produce in a year more corn than had ever been imported into Great Britain in any one year, while the other half would grow more hemp and flax, for which the ground would be peculiarly calculated, than would serve for the consumption of Great Britain and Ireland. With such advantages in view, he trusted that no objection could arise to this motion.

After a few words from general Tarleton, the right hon. gent.'s motion was agreed to.