HC Deb 10 February 1898 vol 53 cc238-9
MR. MCDERMOTT (Kilkenny, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether it is his intention, at the earliest moment, to take effective steps to ensure that this year's potato crop in Ireland shall be safeguarded against blight by spraying, so as to prevent the disastrous results which have reduced large districts to the brink of starvation. And (2) whether he has any information as to the effects of spraying last season, particularly where that course was adopted twice?


The Government have under consideration the desirability of inserting in the Seed Supply Bill a clause empowering Boards of Guardians to obtain loans for the purchase of spraying machines to be sold or hired to occupiers of holdings valued under £15. As regards the second part of the question, my information is that the spraying of the potato crop, and especially where that operation is carried out twice over, is most beneficial in its results.