§ Mr. LOOKER
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware of the large percentage of diseased bulbs imported into this country from abroad for cultivation here and that such bulbs infect the ground in which they are planted for two or three years; and will he take steps to prohibit the importation of bulbs unless previously sterilised?
The importation of bulbs for planting is governed by the Destructive Insects and Pests Order of 1922 which requires that each consignment shall be accompanied by a certificate, issued after inspection by a duly authorised official of the country whence the bulbs are exported, to the effect that they have been found to be healthy. I have received very few complaints this season of the presence of disease in imported bulbs, and on the evidence at present before me I do not see my way to prohibit the importation of bulbs which have not been sterilised by the hot water treatment, especially as this process is effective only against such pests as eelworms and Narcissus Fly. No method of sterilising bulbs has so far been discovered which is effective against fungus pests.