§ MR. P. MCDERMOTT (Kilkenny, N)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) if his attention has been called to the extremely unfavourable prospects of the potato crop in Ireland; (2) whether he is aware that in many cases where the seed has 505 been planted it has perished from the excessive rain, and that in nearly every district in Ireland the potato planting is a month later than usual; and (3) whether, as a recurrence of the potato disease may be obviated by spraying the crops, he will take steps in the poorer districts in Ireland to provide the necessary materials for those who are unable to obtain them, thereby preventing the serious risk of another potato famine in Ireland?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
It is a fact, I understand, that the planting of potato seed has been later than usual this season owing to the long continued wet weather, and I believe there is reason to fear that in some localities the seed has been injured by excessive rain. It is entirely premature, however, to express any opinion respecting the prospects of the crop generally. As regards the third paragraph, the matter will In brought under the notice of the Congested Districts Board.
§ CAPTAIN DONELAN (Cork, E.)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the south of Ireland a large portion of the potato seed has failed?