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Winter Dairying In Ireland

Volume 180: debated on Wednesday 7 August 1907

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I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether his attention has been specially called to the evidence of Messrs. P. Vaughan, J. P., William McDonnell, J. P., chairman of the Limerick Chamber of Commerce, and other witnesses, given before the Committee of Inquiry into the working of the Act of 1899, strongly favouring the establishment of a system of winter dairying in Ireland; is he aware that Sir Horace Plunkett also advocated the adoption of this system as likely to improve the Irish butter trade and to lead to a large increase of tillage; and what steps, if any, the Department propose to take towards the adoption of an agricultural reform in Ireland which has already produced most beneficial results in Denmark.

The Department have noticed the evidence in question, but neither in the majority nor in the minority Report of the Departmental Committee of Inquiry is there any definite suggestion made as to how winter dairying may be increased in Ireland. There is no difference of opinion as to the desirability of encouraging the industry and the authorities in drafting schemes suitable to particular districts. Last year the Department themselves initiated a small experiment of this nature at their Agricultural Station, Clonakilty, and when the experiment has been twelve months in progress—which will be in this autumn—a report will be published of the results. When this report is issued and when the results of the experimental tillage scheme which the. Cork County Committee of Agriculture put into operation for the first time this year are available, the Department, in conjunction with the Agricultural Board, will consider the matter further. In the meantime, I have arranged to receive a deputation from the South of Ireland on Monday next, and the whole subject, which the Department recognise to be of the greatest importance, will be considered at a special meeting of the Agricultural Board.