HL Deb 04 August 1898 vol 64 cc25-6

My Lords, this Bill, in so far as it relates to the supply of seed potatoes, is similar to an Act which, was passed in the year 1895, under the late Government, and another which was passed in 1890, by the then Conservative Government. The Bill itself is for the purpose of legalising proceedings which have been taken, under the instruction of the Local Government Board in Ireland, by the guardians in purchasing for distribution seed potatoes and seed oats, in those districts where there is great poverty amongst the occupiers; and it also provides for the purchase and the hiring out of machines and material for spraying potatoes, with the object of trying to combat the evils of the potato disease. The guardians are authorised to provide what I have mentioned with the sanction of the Local Government Board and the Board of Works, and with the consent of the Treasury loans can be made to the guardians for the purpose. The guardians are authorised to sell seed and spraying machines to the occupiers, but they are limited to occupiers whose rate able value does not exceed the annual value of £15. Spraying machines are also allowed to be let on hire, and there are limitations concerning the amount of seed sold. There are also regulations with regard to making payments, and the spraying machines are only allowed to be sold for cash on delivery. The amount due for the articles sold by the guardians, and not paid for in cash, can be levied as part of the poor rate, where the occupier is rated to the poor rate, or in other cases by special rate. But where the article is paid for in cash, the guardians have power to allow an abatement of one-fifth, and in the case of spraying machines an abatement of one-tenth from the price, and any loss occasioned by such abatement is to be paid out of the Irish Church Temporalities Fund. Provision is also to be made by the guardians for instructors in the use of the spraying machines, and the Local Government Board is empowered to make general rules and regulations for carrying out the Act. I hope your Lordships will give the Bill a Second Beading. It has passed through the other House without opposition, and will, it is hoped, be of material benefit to the people in the poorer parts of Ireland where they are not able to provide these things for themselves without assistance.

Question put.

Bill read a second time.