21 AUGUST 1886, Page 2

Mr. Tuke's report on his distribution of seed-potatoes to the

islands off the West Coast of Ireland, from Achill southwards, has been published ; and as it contains an account of his eighth visit daring recent years to this poverty-stricken coast, it is well worth careful reading. Of the small agricultural holdings on these islands, and even on the shore of the mainland, Mr. Take is more and more thoroughly persuaded on every visit he makes that even if held rent-free, they would not keep the heads of their occupants above water. "The fact that the small holdings of worn-out land cannot support the crowded population is no longer a de- bateable question. It is unanimously borne witness to. From priest, or landlord, or tenant, there is but one response : ' With- out other means of earning money, there is no possibility of living out of the land.' The living isn't in it, rent or no rent, yer honour r And can it be otherwise ? Consider Achill, with its thousand families, of whom three-fourths are living on holdings so small that the rental or valuation does not exceed 30s. a year each,—and few of the remainder exceed £4 a year ! Take another instance in Connemara, of one thousapd families attempting to live on 1,700 acres of arable bog-land, mere patches of soil lying among great boulders." On the other band, Mr. Take is convinced that fisheries might be made to take the place of land-tillage, especially if the Tramways Act were carried out so as to give these fisheries the means of sending their fish to suitable markets. Mr. Take also believes heartily in very carefully superintended emigration, but is convinced that without careful superintendence the expenditure on emi- gration might do pure mischief.