§ MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid)
I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) what steps are being taken to prevent the introduction into Ireland of the black scab potato disease.
§ THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR IRELAND (Mr. T. W. RUSSELL,) Tyrone, S.
In February last, the Department issued and distributed in large numbers throughout the country a leaflet on black scab in potatoes. On the 2nd instant the Black Scab in Potatoes (Ireland) Order, 1908, made in pursuance of powers conferred by the Destructive Insects and Pests Acts, 1877 and 1907, came into operation. This order requires every person, who has in his possession or charge any potatoes affected or suspected of being affected with this disease, to notify the fact to the Department. Failure to give such notice renders the defaulters liable to a penalty of £10. The order further prohibits the landing in Ireland of any potatoes diseased or suspected of being diseased, brought from any place outside of Ireland. A person landing such potatoes in contravention of this order is also liable to a penalty of £10.
§ CAPTAIN DONELAN (Cork, E.)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the potato disease is prevalent at the present moment in many parts of county Cork where spraying was resorted to? Would it not be well to make known the best method of preserving potatoes which have been raised and stored and have so far escaped disease?
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
If my hon. friend refers to the disease known as black scab, I can reassure him. We have had hundreds of samples from all parts of Ireland, and in no case have we found that disease.
§ CAPTAIN DONELAN
Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that potatoes are rapidly blackening in many districts?
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
That is the ordinary disease, but the terrible disease known as black scab has not got into 287 Ireland. After the serious weather we have had I am afraid the blackening is almost inevitable.