§ MR. PETER M'DONALD (Sligo, N.)
I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture whether he is aware that during the past year the South Dublin Union was called upon to pay £8,000 compensation for the compulsory slaughter of cattle suffering from pleuro-pneumonia; have any steps been taken to meet the views of the deputation from 100 Agricultural Clubs and Societies which waited upon him early in February to complain of similar burdens being imposed on other market centres, and dairy and grazing districts, with the object of pressing on the attention of the Government the desirability of making such payment from the Imperial Exchequer instead of the local rates; and whether he has had submitted to him a remedy by Mr. Johnson, of Blackrock, Dublin, for effectually stamping out this disease; and, if so, whether in the public interest he has caused inquiry to be made into the nature and merits of such remedy, and afforded its author an opportunity of putting it to a test; and, if so, what has been the result?
§ MR. CHAPLIN
The South Dublin Union was not, I am informed, called upon to pay £8,000 during the past year as compensation for the compulsory slaughter of cattle suffering from pleuro-pneumonia. The amount so paid in that Union during the past year was £384 15s. Besides this sum, £3,502 was payable as compensation for cattle in South Dublin Union slaughtered as being in contact with cattle affected with pleuro-pneumonia, making a total of £3,886 15s. in the South Dublin Union in the past year. As to the steps which have been taken to meet the views of the deputation from 100 Agricultural Clubs and Societies, which waited upon me in February, I may remind the hon. Member that I have 1646 introduced a Bill which I have reason to believe substantially meets the views of the deputation. The Bill has been already read a second time, and I hope I may be successful shortly in passing it through its remaining stages in this House. A letter has been submitted to me from Mr. Johnston, of Blackrock, Dublin, stating that he knew of a remedy for the disease, and asking that a certain number of diseased animals should be placed at his disposal for experiment, and offering to place it at the services of the Board of Agriculture for a stipulated sum if successful. I have carefully considered the proposal. But we constantly receive applications of this character, and with no evidence of the value of the remedy before them the Board have not thought it desirable to accede to this request.