Ixviii ROYAL COMMISSION ON CONGESTION IN IRELAND.
Working of Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act.
The Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act had been put in operation extensively with good results, espeÂ¬ cially to poorer classes; Act of last year was a poor substitute for its predecessor, 46631.â€”Resident
inÂ¬ structors were needed to prevent the sale of bad seed and calf meal; the latter was outside the 1906 Act because it was mixed, and a good deal of it still came into the country, especially the remote parts, 46631.
Veterinary Relief needed in Congested Areas.
Some system of veterinary relief was greatly needed in congested areas; there were only 15 veterinary surgeons in County Cork outside the city; less than 1 for every 7,000 farmsteads1, 46631.
Difference between method of Department and
Congested Districts Board.
There was a good deal of confusion when DepartÂ¬ ment first took over the working of the congested areas; witness had no personal knowledge of methods of Congested Districts Board, but he feared that, as might be expected from a centralised governing body dealing directly with unformed and mostly apathetic units, there were no permanent results; there was also a difficulty in getting people used to a spoonÂ¬ feeding system to take any initiative in matters inÂ¬ volving an element of risk, such as the purchase of a bull, etc.,
and but for the energy of the priests matÂ¬ ters would be almost hopeless; however, things were improving, 46631-7.â€”The
Committee spent Â£100 a year in premium bulls alone in congested areas, 46631.â€”There
was no question but that poor districts required more help than better-off ones, 46638.â€”It
would be admirable to have subsidiary grants availÂ¬ able for special requirements of poor areas and ad-ainistered by County Committee through, perhaps, a ocal committee; the Department had made special payments for subsidiary schemes, but there was nothing like the amount that would be needed, 46639.
Creameries and Tillage.
Cork was a great dairy county, and there were a considerable number of creameries in some parts of it; they were chiefly co-operative, 46640-2.â€”Witness
did not think they caused a decrease of tillage, 46643-4.
Land for School Farms.
Witness had tried to promote tillage by giving land for school farms, but parents would not avail themÂ¬ selves of it, 46645.
Board's Tracts and Papers.
The Board had done a great deal of work as regards tracts and papers; they should have some depot in a country town where people would know they could get them for Id.
or so, 46645.
Soil in Skibbereen District.
Soil in Skibbereen district was generally light and moory on a clay slate foundation ; where red sandÂ¬ stone came in the union of the two made a better soil; butter from such soil getting -%d.
more in the market than that from clay slate farms, but the general character of the land was small fields with rocky, uneven surface, 46645.
Conditions of Tillage on Rough Ground.
Tillage did not pay because farmers did not know how to make it pay; advanced machinery could not be used< in the district and tillage by manual labour must die out; it would take a hardworking farmer
ten to fifteen days' manual labour in addition to-horse labour to plant an acre of potatoes ; if they would only work with a drill plough and make the drills they would do it in less than half the time 46645.â€”Lazy
beds were made almost universally for drainage purposes in rough and rocky places but on average land because it was a tradition, 46646-8.
Witness thought a great deal of the rough land in the-West must lapse into grazing, 46645, 46648.
Agricultural Instruction suited to District
A better system of irrigation was needed and inÂ¬ struction as to improving very poor pasture land, a class of instruction not as a rule given; witness's father had found Leicester sheep too delicate for the country, but by using common ewes of the country with the South Down ram had produced lambs to sell in April and May, whereas formerly lambs were-never seen in the market till Junp or July, 46648.
Kind of Cattle needed.
It was the same with cattle ; Shorthorns were rather delicate for the countiy and they were very bad milkers; with Shorthorn bulls, bullocks sold well, but for milkers some of the old Irish cows were needed; the Aberdeen Angus also had the name of being very bad milkers, though thirty or forty years ago they got prizes at the Dublin Show as the best milkers from anywhere; Board should apply their attention to getting a race of milking cattle for this district, 46648.
Labourers' Cottages and the Supply of Labour.
Present system of labourers' cottages tended largely to emigration; in many ways cottages were a boon, but the vice of the system was that they had no conÂ¬ nection with farmers on whose land they were put up ; as a result, the acre or half-acre of land attached was exhausted by continual potato growing; the labourer had no certainty of employment and the farmers could not find labour, 46648.â€”Many
of these cottages were now empty, 46648, 46651.â€”Many
farÂ¬ mers gave constant employment and more would do so if they could get the men, 46649.â€”The
usual pracÂ¬ tice was to have a six or twelve months' agreement, the labourer getting a cottage and land and so much wages, 46650.â€”Chief
cause of emigration was the decrease of labour, as farmers gave up tillage, 46653.
â€”Better system of tillage would give more employÂ¬ ment ; labour should be spent on the most productive land, but the tendency was for farmers to farm as much land as they could work with their families, having a few cattle here and there and one person to attend them both, because it was the easiest way and because of the scarcity of labour, 46656-62.â€”The
labourer's cottage should be part and parcel of the farmer's holding, and the farmer should pay the rates and give the labourer a separate acre of land each year, 46663-4.
Fruit-growing and Vegetable-preserving.
vJ^hlfT frÂ°^ fruit-gfÂ°^g was uncertain, but not ?wa
be an instructor; witness was bSniVn w!
Â°f * U?t0rj
system> which *ended to i^SF^TiMe'-a?d
at the Cork Exhibition most lad a ZZ aT^ m largf factory WOTk I tness had excellent ^JTng i!^1*6
raade and uld have a^oodtlfw P aS' b?ns'
etc" in winte*; there was thl drvf J1*01 VQSeUbleS all the year round ; difficuftv f/vf -S 1 Very simPle and there was no Wilne^S^tTf thG Tegetables> 46664, 46669-72.-
^ communication with De-SEViS Â°nly worked locaHy, 46673,-Early late^ frost, t^^fi1^1' the sea on account of thl -ThetoUh I ha-d n.0t
^U very successful, 46674.
market W+fL7^Cto^k wo*ld ]lelP to provide SfliS\*3S S1Way Jat<?s
a3ld deterioration from handling at did not pay to send it to Cork, 46665-9.