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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July 16,1901. 
Precentor Tnwnsend. 

Board should apply their attention to giving us a milking race of cattle here. 
There was a breed of cattle fifty years ago, Dutch cattle, white-faced, large-framed black cattle. 
It was said they were re¬ markably good milkers. 
I take it the practical way of improving farmers would be by giving attention to these things. 
As far as I can see no attention is being paid to them at the present day. 
Attention is given chiefly to producing cattle that bring a good price for fattening, but there is no attention paad to having good milkers. 
If you cannot have two strings to your bow you cannot succeed in farm¬ ing. 
There is a point that tends very largely to emigration here. 
That is the condition of the labourers' cottages. 
They were introduced as a great. 
boon to the labourers. 
In many ways they have been a great boon to them. 
The system is that the cottages are put up utterly irrespective of the farms on which they are placed. 
They are a sepa¬ rate property. 
If one is put on my farm I have no possibility of knowing whether I can get that parti¬ cular man to work for me in time of stress, and he cannot be sure of regular work in winter. 
The labourers in these cottages first got half an acre of ground, and after they had it a few years they wore it out with successive potato crops, and it was of little value to tthem. 
Then he got an acre, hut with similar results, whereas formerly he had a cottage —it was a very bad one, and an entirely different acre of land from the farmer every year on which to plant his potatoes. 
He was a labourer attached to that particular farm on whose services the farmer could count. 
I am not going into the question of wages or anything of that sort. 
A farmer who wants three or four labourers now has to go to market every other day to hire a man. 
I think this may succeed close to a town, but in country dis¬ tricts it is different. 
There is a number of those labourers' cottages qui/te empty. 
It should be possible to introduce some new method of working them in connection, with the farm on which the labourer resides. 
As a rule, when a labourer gets a new cottage the farmer tries to do without him. 
This creates a deadlock, and things go down instead of upwards, whereas if the labourer could be attached to the farmer and the labourer in the cottage would foe sure of his work it would be better. 
Under the present system the farmer is uncertain of his man, and the labourer is uncertain of his work. 
Are there many farmers who give constant employment all the year round?—Yes, 
there are; and many would do so if they could get the men. 
Most Rev. 
there any special scheme for binding the labourer to work on the farm and binding the farmer to provide work for the labourer?—It 
is a scheme that has been in force for many years in this country. 
The labourer has been hired once a year, the same as in Scotland, and he is given a cottage and land and so much wages 'all the year round. 
lit is either a six or twelve months' agreement, and there is no practical diffi¬ culty. 
Now, if a farmer has a cottage that is con¬ demned as unfit for human use, instead of getting another cottage fit for use the labourer gets a cottage somewhere else, and the old cottage is left empty. 
say that some of these cottages now stand vacant?—Yes. 
I suppose the former occupants of them have emigrated?—.Some 
Is that the principal cause?—I 
think it is that the labour has been as a rule year by year de¬ creasing, as farmers have been giving up tillage. 
If the system you believe in advances and less land is under tillage, then of course there will be less demand for labour ?—That 
is in the very rou^h places only. 
J 6 46655. 
That may be the reason for having these vacant; the land going more out of tillage, and con¬ sequently there being no more work for these labourers to do—is that the case?—No. 
There are labourers' °^« Va3lt 031 some of tlie k** Places around us. 
I he system you appear to favour would tend *0oA rSa?-the 
for ^our at all, would it not /—mat is only m the very rough ground I am not advocatang that for all soikTl an?Lying 
that is the tendency of the present day; but T^ better Sn iTm ft' ?"\ 
*VaMS ^ h a £gS follow mZ ^-land "P mOTe Work would Rurally louow, more dairy work, more work of everv kind if you can get double the crops off the soil 

7 ' 

Why should you cultivate only the ^ soil; is it not a misuse of labour to exuend if ^ the least productive land ?—Decidedly. 
^ 46658. 
Would not it be a better use of labor • use it on the most productive land ?—-Decidedly 
on such; but there are large areas out here tc Schull and all that district with a great deal of soil. 
luui 46659. 
That appears to be cultivated ?—Very 
litl 46660. 
There is a great deal of cultivation here and Schull?—Yes. 
There are spots hwo there, but it is not my idea to restrict thelimomt of tillage done at all, but I want that the should know how to improve'the poor parts of th land, and thus be able to give more employment I think it is the tendency of the farmers all aroiad here to till just as much as their fiamdlies can do and no more; and then he may buy another farm and perhaps a third farm. 
'There are farmers around here who have three f arans. 
They live on the one and carry a few cattle to another, and there is one person to attend thean, and no tillage on that iwn That system is growing all around for the ] years. 
Because it is the easiest ?—Because 
it is: easiest, and because of the scarcity of labour, farmer with 50 or 60 acres here has not got lain attached to his place that he is certain of. 
A la] living around may come to him if he pleases. 
Which is the real cause; that it is easier or that he cannot get the labour ?—Both 
of them, A great many farmers have had to give up this work because they cannot get the labour. 
It is very hard to get labouring men around here for constant work. 
would make the cot¬ tage part and parcel of the farmer's holding ?—Cei-
So that he would have some claim on the labourers ?—Yes, 
and I think the farmer should pay the rates. 
The labourer is now paying for it. 
He could give the labourer the cottage as part of his wages, and then he could give him a separate acre of land every year instead of keeping him year after year to the same spot. 
My next point is that I took a great interest with regard to fruit growing and vegetable preserving. 
But fruit growing gives a very uncertain return, for the crop of fruit is very un¬ certain and it is very hard to protect it. 
Therefore it is not a very popular thing here, nor is it likely to be very popular; but, on the other hand, there is a very great opening for the employment of a great number of females in cottage industries with regard to vegetables, if there were more encouragement given and more instruction a® regards growling vege¬ tables. 
Our local Board applied one time for an In¬ structor with regard to fruit growing and vegetable preserving. 
The Congested Districts Board was not able to give us one. 
But it would be a great advan¬ tage if you could have an Instructor to instruct them, because you get a return from vegetables two_ or three times a year. 
I am not in favour of factories.^ 
The factory system, most clergymen will tell you, is not very suitable for the family. 
Youngsters of trove to sixteen get as much wages very often as_ men. 
Homes are broken up and so on. 
But cottage indus¬ tries have not this effect. 
As regards vegetable pre¬ serving, at the Exhibition of Cork they had men teaching all this work; but the instructor took an interest chiefly in large factory work. 
They had two assistants, large boilers, heaters, and so forth, and they did not exhibit any cottage work. 
I got samples of cottage work, and a pamphlet describing it. 
I made a little drying machine to expem^ with, and I am able to have vegetables at my table, the nicest green peas possible, in January, February, and March, and also kidney beans and °^* vegt tables. 
Those preserved vegetables have a B^Jyv all the year round. 
But if a man comes into &*«£ bereen with a cart load of cauliflowers he will nay sale for *hem for a few days; but there is no cerwu sale, no fixed market. 
'Then he drops them, tf dried them, as the women could dry ^m>£°Tme6, the creameries have taken away work from the a > they would have plenty of employment, and piw able employment, whilst he would have a,betteV'fore for his produce; but it requires to be shown w their eyes how the thing can be done or tney w