§ Captain DONELAN
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), whether he has received further information concerning the condition of the Irish potato crop; whether he proposes to take steps for the purpose of safeguarding the Irish people from a scarcity of potatoes during the winter and spring; and if he proposes to take action with a view to the provision of sound seed potatoes for next year's planting?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
The Department of Agriculture is being supplied with regular and frequent reports from every district in the country on the subject, and is also in consultation with the Government in order that if action becomes necessary it may be promptly taken. Owing to the recent bad weather much of the potato crop remains in the ground. According to the best judgment the Department can form, the crop will be about two-thirds of normal or perhaps a little less. After careful inquiry the Department believes that the danger is not of such a serious nature as is apprehended by the hon. Member. When the crop has been lifted and the full facts are known any necessary action will be taken, and can, if the facts require it, include action with regard to the provision of sound seed potatoes.