HC Deb 01 March 1847 vol 90 c606

begged to ask the noble Lord at the head of the Government if the Government had taken any measures to ascertain whether the additional quantity of ground which would be required this year, in consequence of the failure of the potato crop, had been prepared for corn; and also whether, in the opinion of the Government, it would not be desirable to make an appeal to the Irish gentry and Irish landlords, in order to induce them to convert their land into tillage land.


The Government have been in constant communication with the Lord Lieutenant on this very important subject. But I regret that I cannot say that I am satisfied that the quantity of land prepared for tillage will supply the loss of the potatoes—supposing no potatoes to be grown this year. With respect to the suggestion of my hon. Friend, that proclamations should be issued by the Government, calling the attention of the Irish proprietors to the subject, and pointing out the necessity of their preparing more arable land, I cannot say that the Government are disposed to interfere by proclamation. I am sure that the Lord Lieutenant has called the attention of the proprietors to the importance of the subject, and the landlords can and ought to issue directions to their tenants; but the proprietors and farmers of Ireland ought to be as fully aware of the danger as the Government; and I hope that they will use their utmost exertions without our interference.