HC Deb 30 March 1896 vol 39 c388
MR. P. MCDERMOTT (Kilkenny, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he is aware that the spraying of potato crops in Ireland with strawsonite has resulted in preserving them from blight and of increasing the quantity of sound eatable potatoes by one-fourth of the yield more than where spraying has not been used; and, whether his attention has been drawn to the Blue-book of Agricultural Statistics (Ireland) just issued, which shows that where spraying has been used the most beneficial results were obtained; and, if so, will he advise the Government to take steps to make the application of the system universal during the coming season?


The results of the experiments conducted in 1895 by the Agricultural Department of the Land Commission for the purpose of testing the value of strawsonite and other solutions as preventives of the spread of potato disease in Ireland are fully detailed in the Report recently presented to Parliament. These experiments, on the whole, were most successful and satisfactory in their results, and indicate that a timely application of the solutions is beneficial, not alone in prolonging the period of growth of the plant, but in lessening the ill-effects of the disease and increasing the relative yield of potatoes. I may remark that the experiments, which were originated in the year 1891 at the request of the Irish Government, have since been carried out from year to year, and the results attained, with other information, have been embodied in leaflets and very extensively circulated throughout Ireland amongst the farming classes and other interested persons. I now propose to ask the Land Commissioners to issue the recent Report to Poor Law Boards, agricultural societies, and other bodies interested in the matter, as well as to the Press, and also to continue the circulation of the leaflets.