HL Deb 31 August 1848 vol 101 cc726-7

The MARQUESS of LANSDOWNE laid on the table a return, in continuation of the return which he had presented at an earlier period of the Session, giving an account of the state of agricultural produce in Ireland. It was one of the most important and, at the same time, one of the most satisfactory returns that had ever been laid before Parliament. The return showed the amount of agricultural stock arranged in baronies. Their Lordships, therefore, would be enabled at a glance to see the amount of stock in any district in Ireland. There was also annexed an account of the proportion of large and small holdings in each barony. He need not say how important such a document would be in all discussions relating to Ireland—as the return gave most ample details of the capital and stock employed in agricultural pursuits. He could not lay this return on the table without doing justice to the unwearied labours and assiduity of Major Larcom, who had prepared this document. He might also state, and he was desired to do this by his noble Friend the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, that this return could not have been compiled by Major Larcom if he had not been assisted by one of the most valuable bodies of men that had ever been organised in any country—he meant the police in Ireland. Not long ago it was his duty to call their Lordships' attention to the gallantry and activity, vigilance and industry, of that valuable body of men at a time—at a crisis when the public safety depended so much on their exertions. It was, therefore, peculiarly grateful to him to call their Lordships' attention to their services in another way, and to state to their Lordships, that not only was the Irish police the most admirably disciplined body of persons that ever furnished their services to any country—they had not only successfully put down insurrection and maintained public order, but at the same time bad exhibited a degree of intelligence which, in collecting this information, would be highly honourable to any class of society. He should merely add that this document furnished much valuable information as to the physical and social condition of Ireland.

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