§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) if he has received any notice as to the injury likely 340 to be caused to the potato crop in county Clare owing to the inclement season; and whether arrangements can be made to enable the Clare farmers generally to spray their crops.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
The Department are aware of the present condition of the potato crop in county Clare and in other parts of Ireland owing to the inclement season, which I hope may now be taken as at an end. There is an agricultural instructor in county Clare appointed by the County Committee of Agriculture, and one of his duties is to give demonstrations and instruction regarding spraying to farmers. He is at present wholly engaged on this work. In addition the Department have located an agricultural overseer temporarily in the county for the spraying season, and have extended to county Clare their operations in connection with the distribution of spraying machines and materials, particulars of which were given in my reply of the 19th ultimo to a Question from the hon. Member for North Cork.†More over, a circular has been issued to every County Committee of Agriculture in Ireland authorising thorn, in the very exceptional circumstances of the present season, to purchase and hire out at a small daily charge, I think it is 6d. per day, knapsack sprayers to small farmers and others in the poorer districts who are not in a position to purchase such machines for their own use.