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LAND LAWS]
749
IRELAND
1. The ultimate aim of the department’s policy in the matter

of agricultural instruction is, as defined by itself, to place within the reach of a large number of young men and young women the means of obtaining in their own country a good technical knowledge of all subjects relating to agriculture, an object which prior to the establishment of the department was for all practical purposes unattainable. Before such a scheme could be put into operation two things had to be done. In the first place, the department had to train teachers of agricultural subjects; and secondly, it had to demonstrate to farmers all over Ireland by a system of itinerant instruction some of the advantages of such technical instruction, in order to induce them to make some sacrifice to obtain a suitable education for their sons and daughters. In order to accomplish the first of these two preliminaries, the department established a Faculty of Agriculture at the Royal College of Science in Dublin, and offered a considerable number of scholarships the competition for which becomes increasingly keen. They also reorganized the Albert Agricultural College at Glasnevin for young men who have neither the time nor the means to attend the highly specialized courses at the Royal College of Science; and the Munster Institute at Cork is now devoted solely to the instruction of girls in such subjects as butter-making, poultry-keeping, calf-rearing, cooking, laundry-work, sewing and gardening. In addition to these three permanent institutions, local schools and classes have been established in different parts of the country where systematic instruction in technical agriculture is given to young men. In this and in other branches of its work the department is assisted by agricultural committees appointed by the county councils. The number of itinerant instructors is governed entirely by the available supply of qualified men. The services of every available student on completing his course at the Royal College of Science are secured by some county council committee. The work of the itinerant instructors is very varied. They hold classes and carry out field demonstrations and experiments, the results of which are duly published in the department’s journal. The department has also endeavoured to encourage the fruit-growing industry in Ireland by the establishment of a horticultural school at Glasnevin, by efforts to secure uniformity in the packing and grading of fruit, by the establishment of experimental fruit-preserving factories, by the planting of orchards on a large scale in a few districts, and by pioneer lectures. As the result of all these efforts there has been an enormous increase in the demand for fruit trees of all kinds.

2. The marked tendency which has been visible for so many years in Ireland for pasturage to increase at the expense of tillage makes the improvement of live-stock a matter of vital importance to all concerned in agriculture. Elaborate schemes applicable to horse-breeding, cattle-breeding and swine-breeding, have been drawn up by the department on the advice of experts, but the working of the schemes is for the most part left to the various county council committees. The benefits arising from these schemes are being more and more realized by farmers, and the department is able to report an increase in the number of pure bred cattle and horses in Ireland.

3. The special investigations carried out by the department naturally vary from year to year, but one of the duties of each instructor in agriculture is to conduct a number of field experiments, mainly on the influence of manures and seeds in the yield of crops. The results of these experiments are issued in the form of leaflets and distributed widely among farmers. One of the most interesting experiments, which may have far-reaching economic effects, has been in the cultivation of tobacco. So far it has been proved (1) that the tobacco plant can be grown successfully in Ireland, and (2) that the crop when blended with American leaf can be manufactured into a mixture suitable for smoking. But whether Irish tobacco can be made a profitable crop depends upon a good many

other considerations.

Agricultural Co-operation.—In 1894 the efforts of a number of Irishmen drawn from all political parties were successfully directed towards the formation of the Irish Agricultural Organization Society, which has for its object the organizing of groups of farmers on co-operative principles and the provision of instruction in proper technical methods. The society had at first many difficulties to confront, but after the first two or three years of its existence its progress became more rapid, and co-operation became beyond all question one of the most hopeful features in Irish agriculture.

Perhaps the chief success of the society was seen in the establishment

of creameries, which at the end of 1905 numbered 275—123 in Ulster, 102 in Munster, 20 in Leinster and 30 in Connaught. The members numbered over 42,000 and the trade turnover for the year was £1,245,000. Agricultural societies have been established for the purchase of seed, implements, &c., on co-operative lines and of these there are 150, with a membership of some 14,000. The society was also successful in establishing a large number of credit societies, from which farmers can borrow at a low rate of interest. There are also societies for poultry-rearing, rural industries, bee-keeping, bacon-curing, &c., in connexion with the central organization. The system is rounded off by a number of trade federations for the sale and purchase of various commodities. The Department of Agriculture encourages the work of the Organization Society by an annual

grant.

Land Laws.—The relations of landlord and tenant in Ireland have been a frequent subject of legislation (see History below). Under the act of 1881, down to the 31st of March 1906, the rents of 360,135 holdings, representing nearly 11,000,000 acres, had been fixed for the first statutory term of 15 years either by the land commissioners or by agreements between landlords and tenants, the aggregate reduction being over 20% as compared with the old rents. The rents of 120,515 holdings, representing over 3,500,000 acres, had been further fixed for the second statutory term, the aggregate reduction being over 19% as compared with the first term rents. Although the acts of 1870 and 1881 provided facilities for the purchase of holdings by the tenants, it was only after the passing of the Ashbourne Act in 1885 that the transfer of ownership to the occupying tenants began on an extended scale. Under this act between 1885 and 1902, when further proceedings were suspended, the number of loans issued was 25,367 (4221 in Leinster; 5204 in Munster; 12,954 in Ulster, and 2988 in Connaught) and the amount was £9,992,536. Between August 1891 and April 1906, the number of loans issued under the acts of 1891 and 1896 was 40,395 (7838 in Leinster; 7512 in Munster; 14,955 in Ulster, and 10,090 in Connaught) and the amount was £11,573,952. Under the Wyndham Act of 1903 the process was greatly extended.

The following tables give summarized particulars, for the period

from the 1st of November 1903 to the 31st of March 1906, of (1) estates for which purchase agreements were lodged in cases of sale direct from landlords to tenants; (2) estates for the purchase of which the Land Commission entered into agreements under sects. 6 and 8 of the act; (3) estates in which the offers of the Land Commission to purchase under sect. 7 were accepted by the land judge; and (4) estates for the purchase of which, under sections 72 and 79, originating requests were transmitted by the Congested Districts

Board to the Land Commission:—
 Classification.  No. of
 Estates. 
No. of
 Purchasers. 
Purchase Money.

Price. Amount of
Advances
 applied for. 
Amount of
Proposed
 Cash Payments. 






 Direct Sales 3446  86,898  £32,811,564  £32,692,066  £119,498 
 Sections 6 and 8 54  [1]3,567  1,231,014  1,226,832  4,182 
 Section 7 29  [1]1,174  383,388  381,722  1,666 
 Sections 72 and 79  67  [1]5,606  975,211  975,211  ..






Total 3596  97,245   £35,401,177   £35,275,831  £125,346 


 Classification.  No. of
 Estates. 
No. of
 Purchasers. 
Purchase Money.

Price. Amount of
Advances
made
Amount of
 Cash Payments. 






 Direct Sales 925  16,732  £8,317,063  £8,226,736  £90,327 
 Sections 6 and 8 40  3,047  1,048,459  1,047,007  1,452 
 Section 7 29  1,174  383,388  381,722  1,666 
 Sections 72 and 79  12  763  199,581  199,581  ..






Total 1006  21,716   £9,948,491   £9,855,046  £93,445 
It will be seen from these two tables that though the amount of advances applied for during the period dealt with amounted to over
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Estimated number of purchasers on resale.