§ Mr. O'MALLEY
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), whether, in view of the almost complete failure of the potato crop in Connemara and of the difficulty of the tenants to procure the necessary seed for the coming spring setting, he will advise the Department to obtain the best seed potatoes for those tenants and at the lowest possible price?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
Reports from officers of the Department are now being received daily. They are to the effect that less than half the crop has yet been raised. The crop in the west so far as can be judged at this stage would appear to be from one-half to two-thirds of normal. The amount of disease varies. Generally it is much more prevalent than in recent years. The effect of the reduced yield and of disease on the seed supply is being inquired into and a conference of the Department's officers on the subject has been arranged for to-morrow.
§ Captain C. BATHURST
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Great Eastern Railway Company, either alone or jointly with the Great Northern Railway Company, have, between 16th and 21st October, given notice to traders and farmers that they will not accept potatoes for conveyance to King's Cross potato market, which is the largest wholesale potato market in Great Britain, and that at the time that such embargo was imposed the available stocks were about 50 per cent. below the normal requirements of the market, some salesmen being entirely without stocks; and whether, in view of the loss caused to farmers owing to the waste of time occasioned by their teams and teamsmen being 1336W refused facilities for unloading this produce at stations on the Great Eastern Railway, he will take steps to obtain the removal of these restrictions upon the supply of an article of food in general consumption and of considerable value as a substitute for meat or bread?
My attention has not previously been called to this matter, but I am making inquiries, and will let the hon. and gallant Gentleman know the result.