§ MR. JAMES O'CONNOR (Wicklow, W.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Wicklow County Council have submitted to the Board of Agriculture in Ireland several samples of seeds sold to farmers in Wicklow; whether, when tested by the Department of Agriculture, the samples were found to be of slow or defective germinating power, and in some cases the seeds were proved to contain impurities; and whether he will advise the Board of Agriculture in Ireland to take steps, by legislation, if necessary, to put a stop to the sale of farm seeds of bad quality.
(Answered by Mr. T. W. Russell) No samples of seeds have been sent to the Department's seed-testing station by the Wicklow County Council. Twenty-nine samples have, however, been received this season direct from farmers in that county, and the instructor in agriculture for the district, acting under the directions of the Department, has submitted eighteen samples. The samples received from farmers have all been tested, and the results forwarded to the senders. Those submitted by the agricultural instructor have not yet been tested. Of the farmers' samples a large number, while of fair average purity, are distinctly defective in germinating quality. The Department will consider whether steps could be taken by legislation to guard against the sale in Ireland of farm seeds of bad quality.