HL Deb 05 August 1887 vol 318 c1323

asked the Lord President of the Council, Whether tie could give any information with regard to the Hessian fly, the districts affected, the amount of destruction occasioned; whether instructions had been circulated of the way to deal with it; and whether compensation would he awarded?


said, that according to the latest Report received at the Privy Council Office, dated the 3rd instant, the Hessian fly had appeared in parts of Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Essex, Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, Hertfordshire, Yorkshire (Goole), and in Errol, Kincardine, Montrose, Fife, and Brechin, in Scotland. With respect to the instructions issued by Mr. Whitehead a short time ago, he might say that, as to the harvest this year, a great many of the crops had been cut, so that nothing could be done with regard to them. Instructions, however, would again be issued. There was no power to grant compensation, either out of Government funds or out of the rates, for any loss that might result from the execution of such instructions. The whole subject was being carefully considered, and Mr. C. W. Gray, M. P., and Mr. Whitehead, the well-known authority on destructive insects, were engaged in investigating the circumstances attending the appearance of the fly. He was sorry to say, from the specimens sent up, that there was no doubt that it was really the Hessian fly that had appeared. He had no reason to believe that the destruction wrought by the insect was as yet very great; but last year the fly had hardly appeared in this country, and this year it had spread over a great part of the country.