§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, S. E.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he is aware that the pea bug has been introduced by American peas, grown by contract for English seedsmen, and that their existence is admitted by the producers, who advise soaking in petroleum before use; and that pea fields are being ploughed up 1318 in Essex and elsewhere owing to the damage done by this insect; and whether he will stop the importation of foreign seed peas known to be infected by the bug?
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. HERBERT GARDNER,) Essex, Saffron Walden
There seems to be some misunderstanding as to the particular insect to which the hon. Member refers under the term "pea bug," and I should be obliged to him if he would place me in possession of any information on the subject which he may possess. The insects of which specimens were sent to me from Brain-tree were, as I am advised, Sitones lineatus, commonly described as the pea and bean weevil. This insect has been well known in this country for many years, and the leaflet now being issued by the Board of Agriculture sets out the measures which may with advantage be adopted with respect to it. I have no power to take the action suggested in the latter part of the question.
§ MAJOR RASCH
said, that he had some of the bugs with him. Would the right hon. Gentleman have consignments of peas coming from America marked as such and kept in bond in order that the bugs might develop there instead of on the land?
§ *MR. HERBERT GARDNER
I am afraid that what the hon. and gallant Gentleman suggests is outside of my power.