HC Deb 21 May 1914 vol 62 cc2117-8

asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), whether, in the event of it being necessary to destroy any more gooseberry bushes in consequence of the prevalence of American mildew, he will cause an estimate to be made of the loss of income to the owner by the destruction of the bushes and report it to the authority possessed of the power to award compensation?


The Department are not satisfied that any useful purpose would be served by the course suggested by the hon. Member, as compensation payable under the Destructive Insects and Pests Acts, 1877 and 1907, must be based upon the "value of the crop," and not upon the loss of income caused by its destruction. Moreover, Section 3 (Sub-section 4) of the Destructive Insects Act, 1877, expressly provides that the local authority (i.e., the county council) may, if they think fit, require the value of the crop to be ascertained by their officers, or by arbitration.

32. Mr. P. WHITE

asked the Vice-President whether Sub-section (1) of Section 1 of the Destructive Insects and Pests Act, 1907, gives the Department power to make an Order directing the payment of compensation with the consent of the local authority for any gooseberry bushes that may be destroyed in consequence of the prevalence of American mildew; and, if so, whether, having regard to the number of poor people who have suffered in consequence of the application of the Act, and who are not in a position to take the necessary steps to obtain compensation, he will communicate with the various local authorities where bushes have been destroyed, or are to be destroyed, with the view of obtaining their consent to award compensation and, if the local bodies are agreeable to make the payment, that the Board shall make the Order directing the payment of compensation?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, the Department are considering the question of issuing a circular to the county councils intimating their willingness to make an Order of the nature referred to by the hon. Member in the event of the county councils consenting to pay compensation.


asked the Vice-President whether any of his officers have prescribed spraying of gooseberry bushes as a remedy for the removal of American mildew, and with what success; and whether any of the bushes so treated had to be afterwards destroyed?


The Department's officers have not at any time prescribed spraying as a remedy for American gooseberry mildew, but when the disease was first dealt with by the Department spraying and pruning were in some instances permitted as an experiment to ascertain whether such treatment would effectively control the disease. From the results of the experiments so far carried out, the Department are of opinion that the only effective method of preventing the spread of the disease is to have the diseased bushes destroyed. A number of bushes treated experimentally have had, in consequence, to be burned.