Location: Flemings Hotel. Private meeting.
M.P. COLLIVET (Limerick City) to the DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE: "What steps have been taken towards supplying the deficiency of agricultural labour in the South from the Western labourers who usually migrate to England and Scotland for employment?"
The ACTING-PRESIDENT (for the DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE): "The problems connected with migratory labour have been receiving attention from two aspects. (1) The immediate edifisation of Irish migrant labourers in Ireland. (2) The amelioration of conditions in the West in order to remove the necessity for small farmers to migrate as labourers.
"The difficulties met with under (1) are numerous. The demand for migratory labour in the South of Ireland is not by any means so insistent as that from England. The migrants themselves prefer to go to England because they can get there long term engagements covering the whole summer and early autumn. Some of these men by starting with the hay harvests in central England can find continuous employment until October by moving northwards as the season advances, returning to Ireland after completing the potato harvest in South Scotland. Climatic conditions in Ireland preclude such possibilities. Information is being gathered regarding the possibility of making some migrant labour available for the Irish Harvest. Genuine efforts made by the Anglo-Irish Department of Agriculture during last year with the same object in view met with very little success, largely because employers in the South of Ireland could not provide the same continuous employment as that securable in England.
A 1913 report by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction had noted a decline in the number of migratory agricultural labourers.
"Can the mover of the question put me in touch with some reliable person in Co. Limerick who can provide me with information I require regarding conditions of employment?"
M.P. COLLIVET (Limerick City) said there was a farmer named Laffan living close to Killonan Railway Station near Limerick who was interested in the question, and who would supply the information asked for.