Eighth report of the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into and report upon the operation of the Acts dealing with Congestion in Ireland; evidence and documents

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John T. 

My J 6, 1907, Cooper lives. 
The very district that ^ptain — Cooper lives in is a great tillage district. 

The Chairman of our County 'Council lives in that district. 
There are good tillage farmers all around Carrigaline in spite of Captain Cooper. 
Our first section is for men between £15 and io4U valu¬ ation. 
In order to equalise the conditions of com¬ petition, say, between a man of £20 valuation and one of £39 valuation the condition is laid down that each man must have one-fifth of his arable land under tillage. 
We exclude the land that is not arable, hut then if he has a higher pro¬ portion than one-fifth that is a point m his favour. 
Then the produce must, as far a® pos¬ sible, be consumed on the farm, both by the family and by the animals, and the more produce that is consumed on the place the more it counts in his favour. 
He has to make a return of these particulars. 
Hence the necessity for three inspections. 
It is not merely in order to see the crop growing, but the in¬ spector will have to come on the land in the late winter or early spring to see what crop has been con¬ sumed. 
The more consumed by the family in the way of growing their own wheat and their own oatmeal to make porridge, and their own vegetables, and con¬ sumed by the animals, feeding the milch cows and fattening cattle, notwithstanding Captain Cooper's views about fattening cattle, which are rather peculiar, because all the Scotch and English farmers live by fattening them or stall-feeding them. 
The more con¬ sumed on the farm itself the greater the point in his favour and vice versa, the less he purchases, the less French straw he purchases and the less German peat litter he purchases the greater the credit that is given him. 
He has to show his accounts, both what_ he consumes and what he purchases from the outside. 
A chief object is to keep on the soil and send back to it what is taken out of it, because under the grazing system the land is going down. 
We have very little lime in West Cork. 
Constantly raising store cattle we are sending away in the bones of the cattle the little lime we have and so we are destroying the land. 
It was said to me, 

" You are the author, the inventor of a scheme which none of your own people can touch." 
It does not suit my district very well, but it suits other people outside. 
A great number of my people are excluded, because they are under £15 valuation. 
There is a great difference in the value of the prizes, because the prizes under the big farms scheme include three of £30, three of £25, nine of £18, and so on, down to £9. 
The prizes run from £9 to £30. 
Alto¬ gether £474 comes in. 
Most Rev. 
is avowedly a scheme for encouraging tillage on large farms. 
As Dr. 
Kelly has said the big farmers are the sinners. 
The small farmers till a reasonable amount. 
They must do it. 
The big farmer can live by grazing. 
If he gets only ten shillings an acre and has 500 acres he gets £250 and can live on it, whereas a man with only ten acres could not live on it if he only got ten shillings an acre?—The 
Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act has been put very extensively into operation in this county and with good results, especially to the poorer classes, who are generally in the merchants' books and afraid to take action in con¬ sequence. 
I am sorry the Act of last year is a poor sub¬ stitute for its predecessor. 
In reference to veterinary instruction perhaps I might refer ©lightly, too, to the great need in congested areas of some system of veter inary relief. 
There are only fifteen veterinary sur¬ geons in the County Cork (outside the city), or less than one to every 7,000 farmsteads. 
The nearest veterinary surgeons to Castletown is sixty miles away, and there isn't a single one in a line of country from Cork City to Killarney. 
It would be important if some system could be adopted which would induce members of the veterinary profession to settle down m some of these places. 
I should have stated that one of the great needs of having a few resident in¬ structors m the poorer districts is on account of the terrible amount of rubbishy seeds sold there, and I fear that a great deal of imported stuffs, which go through Cork into Kerry, find their way back again to the poorer parts of this county. 
Our instructors avail of every opportunity to advise against this practice, but it is apparently forgotten before they get around again. 
The poorer districts are the happy nunting grounds for some Liverpool and Manchester calf meal manufacturers, whose price varies from 

three to four times its value, according to the mill' bility of the victims. 
I might mention, as shj* ' the good intentions of our wise legislators, and h they work out in practice in this country that bvT . 
simple insertion of one little word in the 1906 ju they have expressly saved fraudulent calf meal man 

' facturers from any legal liability for their misd^11* i The 1906 Act states that all food stuffs (unless miX '* must state the food, flesh and fat formers they co i tain. 
Calf meals are, of course, mixed, and cons^ f quently outside the Act. 
I have myself availedUr * small butter and poultry shows, and every possib] ' occasion to hammer this into the heads of thefpoore I farmers, but though the price charged seems to be m 

' the down grade a considerable lot of the stuff is stifl 

' coming into the country and finding its way to those-' most difficult to get at in the way of instruction. 
% had great difficulty the first few years until the De-3 partment took over the working of the congested areas in avoiding duplications and complications of all { kinds. 
On account of the intermixing of the two ' areas it was very confusing both to the County Com-"f mittee and the people as to whom to avoid and whom ' to serve, and be as careful as we could I am afraid we made more than one mistake. 
I have no personal "'< knowledge of the working or the methods of the Con-gested Districts Board in their own districts but I fear, as might naturally be expected from'a cen¬ tralised governing body dealing directly with un-formed and mostly apathetic units, that, agriculturally ' speaking, there are no permanent results shown. 
A '! 
central institution, departmental or otherwise, dealiuir \ directly with parish committees may have as many f good intentions as the King's Speech, but for want of f decentralising administration through local represen-I tative but connected channels I fear the parallel can I be extended further. 
There is also a difficulty in f getting people who are used to anything approaching I a spoon-feeding system of administration to take any i initiative in matters involving an element of risk or f responsibility, such as the purchase of a bull, boar, f or the requisites for an egg-distributing station, even-\ though the Department's loan system makes things-, easy enough for very small capital, and only for the \ energy displayed by the priests in urging them on and overcoming excessive caution matters would be almost , hopeless. 
However, I believe things are on the mend, and with time and its inevitable reforms, and a pretty J fair share of Job's characteristic, and money, much may be hoped for in the course of a few years. 
As regards money, I may mention that ^d. 
in the pound on the congested districts in this county only comes to about £100 a year, which we expend in premiums to bulls alone in those areas. 
Have you any experience of the working of the parish committees ?—No, 
but what I mean would be more local committees. 
I don't think it is exactly the same meaning that the Congested Districts Board give it. 
I cannot get them to work it and it is the priests I get to work all that for me. 
When the priest takes a strong, leading part things go well with the local committees ?—Tes, 
very well. 
I suppose you find that co-operation is not refused on the part of the clergy ?—Never. 
A parish committee is manned by thevery best men in each parish to a large extent. 
It is an elected body. 
As a rule they get a minimum of four times as much work done as the grant which they receive. 
Would not you consider that that is a good work ?—Certainly. 
They have local initiative. 
I might say that the parish committee is Home Rule as far as the ad¬ ministration of its grant goes. 
With reference tot» agricultural work, when it was under the Congested Districts Board you will find, I think, that tihe (Board made arrangements to suit the districts, so aS, enable comparatively poor people to get hold of these animals ?—Yes, 
and as a result I find that there isi no chance of getting the people to buy under any system now. 
They wait for the same system to ibe ladoptecu They ask to have the animals sent free. 
They did not get them free before MThey suggest something to that effect to me. 


Would not it be your impression tiiatw poor districts require more help than the fiew districts ?—There 
is no question about it. 

Suppose that the money available for county was not touched and that from a central u»v