Board of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Orders of the Day — Supply. – in the House of Commons on 27th February 1919.

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Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £5, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1919, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, of the Agricultural Wages Board, and of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, including certain Grants-in-Aid.

Photo of Mr George Lambert Mr George Lambert , South Molton

May I put two questions on two items on the Paper? The first is as to the provision of working capital for the management of the sugar beet estate. That apparently has cost £51,000. The receipts from the sale amount to £11,000 and the losses are £40,000. I am sure my hon. Friend will be able to give us some explanation of such a large loss as this on that amount of capital. Perhaps he can also tell us where the estate is, and what are the reasons—they must be very unusual reasons—why such a very large loss has been made during the last season when the prices of these articles must have been high. My second question is more local because it refers to the West of England in which I am more interested. It relates to the question of rabies in dogs. The Board say that they have guaranteed the manufacturer a sum of money for manufacturing dog muzzles. I do not quite understand what that guarantee is. I have had the misfortune to have to buy several dog muzzles during the last twelve months, and my impression is that the price charged to me is full market value. Perhaps my hon. Friend can tell us whether the manufacturers are charging both the Government and the people who have to buy the muzzles. It looks very much like it to me. This outbreak of rabies is causing much inconvenience, and, naturally, much irritation, but it is necessary that there should be regulations. The disease was introduced from abroad by the ships coming from abroad. Men without cognisance of the seriousness of the offence brought in dogs affected by hydrophobia. Can my hon. Friend assure me, and assure us in the West of England, that the regulations are now being carried out and are sufficiently strict to prevent any unauthorised dogs coming into the country and spreading still further the disease?

I would like also to get some information as to how long these restrictions as to the movement and muzzling of dogs are likely to last in Devon and Cornwall. Naturally the public there are greatly inconvenienced. Every dog has to be muzzled and no dog can be taken away, and if my hon. Friend can say approximately when these restrictions will end it will add to our information and satisfaction in these counties. On the question of expense the stamping out of rabies is, after all, a national question. It is not a matter for which the counties of Devon and Cornwall are responsible. Is the whole of this cost to fall upon the Board of Agriculture Vote? The question of stamping out rabies which was introduced from abroad is a national matter, and it would be unfair that any of the cost should fall on the ratepayers of the localities where the outbreak occurred.

Photo of Mr Evan Hayward Mr Evan Hayward , Seaham

I would like some information as to the working of this estate on which sugar beet is grown. Apparently this is a new departure in the policy of the Board. I would like to know the nature of the whole expenditure, whether this is a national experimental estate, who administers it, and I would like to get whatever particulars the right hon. Gentleman can give. If it is a new departure the Committee would be glad to have full information about it.

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

The Supplementary Estimate arises in consequence of what are practically two new services which have come into being since the original Estimate was made. The first is the expenditure on the estate which has been referred to. This estate is near Newark in Nottingham. The second is as regards this most unfortunate outbreak of rabies in the West of England. The estate referred to was purchased towards the end of 1917 by a body known as the British Sugar Beet Growers' Society, Limited, a body which obtained for the purposes of purchase a loan from the development fund, the objects being to make full experiments in every detail as to the possibility of growing sugar beet commercially in this country. The project was not started by the Board of Agriculture, but by this society which has always had the moral support of the Board of Agriculture. Its operations were suggested by a Sub-committee on Agricultural Reconstruction of the Reconstruction Committee over which Lord Selborne presided, and which recommended that a full trial of this important development might take place. The estate was purchased by this body, but owing to the War it was impossible to carry out the necessary financial arrangements at once, and consequently the Board agreed under a joint arrangement to use part of the estate simply for the purpose of food production for the time being. Altogether something in the nature of 2,000 acres has been cultivated during 1918 by a committee of management appointed by the Board and on which the society is represented.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

What is the size of the estate?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

Over 5,000 acres. This cultivation has taken place over about half the estate. On the other half the tenants still remain, though I think they are going out on Lady Day this year. That part of the estate is being farmed by the original tenants, and the other part which is farmed by this management committee is the part which the tenants have already left. In order to carry out cultivation it was necessary to borrow money from the development fund and £40,000 was borrowed. My right hon. Friend opposite called attention to what looks a very serious matter—that £51,000 was expended and only £11,000 was received against that, and exactly the same point struck me. But the point is really this: that the £51,000 included all the other outgoings of a capital nature as well as working expenses for the year and £11,000 is the revenue.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

Does the £51,000 include the purchase value of this estate of 5,000 acres?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

No; but it includes the stock, implements, fertilisers, interest on mortgage, and compensation under the Agricultural Holdings Act to the tenants who left their holdings, and also labour and cultivation far the year. It includes everything of what you might call capital expenditure as well as working expenditure for the year.

Photo of Mr Evan Hayward Mr Evan Hayward , Seaham

What is allocated to capital and what to profit and loss?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

I am not in a position to give those figures. I am merely making a statement as to what is included in the £51,000 which has been actually expended, as against which we are able to place £11,000, the proceeds of produce of the estate during the year, making the net increase in the estimate of £40,000. That is purely a temporary arrangement. It is anticipated that financial arrangements of the British Sugar Beet Growers' Society will be such very shortly that they will be able to pay that £40,000. They will then take over this land that has been cultivated, to full production during 1918, and the experiment of growing sugar beet and working the factory to be erected for the manufacture of sugar will be carried out They are to take it over precisely as it stands.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

With the liabilities?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

With the liabilities. If we have made profits, they will take it. That is to say, if the value of the stock increases, they will take it. If, on the other hand, there is a loss or a liability, they will take that. Our liability is limited to this £40,000. That is as far as the present financial year is concerned. If anything has to be included in the next financial year, it will appear in the Estimates for that year.

Captain STANLEY WILSON:

Is this estate the property of the Government?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

It was bought by the British Sugar Beet Growers' Society, Limited. For the time being they were not able, owing to the want of labour and material, to get on with the experiment, and part of the estate has been, for the time being, used by the Government for the purpose of food production.

Captain WILSON:

Have 2,000 acres been used for sugar beet?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

They have not been used for sugar beet, but they will be used. I now come to the question of rabies in the West of England. This has been a most unfortunate outbreak. For practically twenty years we have been without rabies. The Regulations that were carried out proved thoroughly effective. Unfortunately, owing to war conditions, somehow or other, we cannot say precisely how, rabies was introduced, probably by a dog which had been imported contrary to Regulations. It must be remembered that during the War, there was great congestion at places like the docks in Plymouth, and the police force all over the country was depleted, and, in so far as rabies has been introduced, there has been a breakdown in the Regulations in this particular instance. But every possible means has been taken to stamp out the disease, and, on the whole, I think with good results, having regard to the depleted state of the police force in that part of the country.

Captain TUDOR REES:

Has the person responsible for the breach of the Regulations been discovered?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

No; it has been quite impossible to find out with absolute certainty the person, the dog, or the date.

Photo of Hon. Hugh O'Neill Hon. Hugh O'Neill , Antrim Mid

Is there any foundation for the very current belief that the rabies was introduced by dogs being brought into the country in aeroplanes?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

I have heard that statement, but believe that it is mere rumour or surmise. My own view is that it is far more likely to have been introduced at a port; but be that as it may, it has been a very serious outbreak. It is impossible to say what was the actual origin of it. The first definite information, as far as I know, was on 19th August, but my right hon. Friend will remember the report that it had been introduced some months before, but it had not been thoroughly diagnosed. At all events, since then there have been 119 cases—ninety-five in Devonshire and twenty-four in Cornwall—and it has been necessary to impose very severe restrictions. There are two areas, an inner area, with Plymouth more or less as a centre, where the more severe restrictions are enforced; and an outer area, which comprises the rest of the counties, Devon and Cornwall, where there are also restrictions which are not so severe. My only answer to the request to give an approximate date as to when the restrictions may be taken off is that we can give no such date. We have got to wait until the disease is stamped out first. I believe that the general rule is that restrictions cannot be taken off in any case until at least six months after the last reported case. I am sorry to say that there was a case reported only within the last few days at a place called Yelberton, somewhere between Plymouth and Tavistock, so at the best we cannot expect the restrictions to be taken off in less than six months. I trust the Committee will support the Board in seeing, having regard to the grave danger which this is, that every possible means is taken to stamp this out in the most effective manner and as soon as possible.

My right hon. Friend asked about a certain payment to manufacturers in respect of muzzles. When the disease broke out it was discovered that the stock of muzzles in the country was exceedingly small. We had not had rabies for a long time, and we hoped we might never have it again, and, as well as that, manufacturers were unwilling during the War to embark upon a big scheme of manufacturing muzzles, partly because they were afraid that they might have a large amount of unused muzzles left on hand when the outbreak came to an end. In order to get a large stock of muzzles immediately, because it was necessary to have sufficient to ensure the proper carrying out of the Regulations, we made to the manufacturers a payment from the Treasury of 1s. on every muzzle they had in stock, and they agreed to go to work at once and manufacture them. The result is that we have sufficient quantities now. At the beginning there was an absolute deficiency, and the ordinary wire cage muzzle was very scarce, and all kinds of substitutes had to be used. By making this really very small payment we were enabled to ensure an adequate supply of muzzles, which, of course, materially helped in dealing with the disease.

Photo of Mr George Lambert Mr George Lambert , South Molton

What about the price to the buyer?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

Though I commiserate with my right hon. Friend, yet if we had not made that payment he might possibly have had to pay more. Speaking generally, I should like to say that we realise the gravity of this outbreak, but in the last few weeks and months things have undoubtedly been better, and, although the local police are working still short-handed and under great disadvantages, I think they have done everything possible to assist to stamp out the disease.

Photo of Mr George Lambert Mr George Lambert , South Molton

Will the hon. Gentleman answer my question as to whether the Regulations at the ports are now being carried out to the satisfaction of the Board of Agriculture? The disease was brought in through the ports, and is the Board satisfied that the Regulations prohibiting the entry of dogs are being carried out?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

We think they are being carried out quite satisfactorily. I am afraid I cannot give an absolute guarantee that some way or another another dog may not be smuggled in. It is very difficult, especially when soldiers, quite naturally, I think—and I sympathise with them myself—would like to bring in their pet dogs, dogs, perhaps, who have been over the top with them, and so on. The danger is much greater now than ever before but at the same time we believe that the Regulations, which are drastic, are being properly carried out.

An HON. MEMBER:

Will there be a local inquiry held as to this outbreak of rabies? I think if you brought the people locally into consultation you would find that they would be able to stamp out the disease much quicker. I am informed that there are dogs going about at night now without any muzzles.

Photo of Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps , Southampton

I think we had a rather extraordinary statement from the Parliamentary Secretary, in which he told us that in order to increase the supply of muzzles 1s. was paid to the manufacturers for every muzzle they had in stock. It stands to reason, therefore, that those muzzles were made before the War, and at a low price. Therefore, the State actually gave 1s. bonus per muzzle to the manufacturers for muzzles that were in stock. My right hon. Friend (Mr. Lambert) asked the very pertinent question as to what conditions were made so that the public were not to be taxed, not only with that 1s., but also the profiteering on the muzzles. We have not got any information on that point. It is the most extraordinary business arrangement that has ever been put before the House, to pay 1s. for every muzzle in stock made at a low price, so that they could sell at the original price, get the 1s. bonus, and, as well, the ordinary profiteering addition. Therefore I think we are entitled to ask at what price were those State-subsidised muzzles sold to the public. I think when a complicated farm problem like the sugar beet estate is put before us we ought to have some memorandum explaining what the position is, as otherwise the time of the House is unnecessarily taken up in discussing questions of the kind. As we now understand the matter, this is a private farm of 5,000 acres, of which 3,000 is still in the hands of the tenants. Two thousand acres were to be used for a sugar factory, but were not so used. Therefore, the Board of Agriculture very properly stepped in and decided to farm it themselves. We have got no details of the £50,000 expenditure, but that amounts to £25 per acre. I do not think that is very high if there were good implements and cultivation, but we do not know what the receipts from sales were, or any details. Farmers now are required to produce very detailed accounts, and I do not see why the State should not submit proper accounts to this House. I think this is a most irregular way of putting forward this proposal, with a mixture of capital and annual expenditure. I think we should get a promise from the President of the Board that he will supply to the House, by a White Paper, or whatever it is called, details showing exactly the stock on the farm and what steps have been taken for its proper cultivation. What we have got now is useless. This is a big farm operation, and capital expenditure and ordinary wages ought not to be lumped together. I think those expenditures ought to be divided. What have we got for our money? Did that money pay for the outgoing tenant's crops, hay, straw, and so on?

Photo of Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps , Southampton

It is going to be devoted to sugar in the future, I understand, but at present it is being cultivated I as an ordinary English farm. I hope the hon. Gentleman will consider as to whether he can give us some figures on the subject.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

This is an entirely new Vote, and we are entitled to have from the Government a statement with regard to policy on this question of this sugar beet estate. I have been listening to the speeches made and the questions put, and, without having any knowledge of the estate or its whereabouts, I must confess I do not know really what this amounts to or what it means. From the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary I understand that before the outbreak of war there was some kind of company in this country which wished to experiment in the growing of sugar beet, and that for that purpose they had chosen this estate of about 5,000 acres. Since the War broke out that company has been unable to follow the experiment, and the Government, through the Board, has cultivated 2,000 of these 5,000 acres. There has been set aside for that, £51,000 for the working capital and management of that 2,000 acres. The other 3,000 acres are, I understand, in the hands of the private company, and we have nothing to do with them. There has been a sum of £11,000 made out of sales from this farm, but we do not know what those sales were. We are not told whether they were vegetable produce, or potatoes, or other crops. We therefore have no guidance for arriving at any conclusion as to whether this farm has been carefully or well managed. We were all urged to cultivate, from the back garden to the public parks, and we were told if we did we would be able to supply ourselves with food which otherwise would be very dear to buy.

What has the Board of Agriculture done? To meet the deficiency of £40,000 the Board has gone to the Development Fund, and I suppose the amount they obtained from them is to be paid back. If that is the transaction, the Parliamentary Secretary may be able to say whether the £40,000 has been got out of the Development Fund by the Board of Agriculture. If that is so, that is using the Development Fund by the Department for a purpose for which the Fund was never created. The Development Fund certainly was never created in this House to enable the Board of Agriculture to take over 2,000 acres from some private company which wanted to grow sugar and in order to produce food. That was not the purpose of the Development Fund, and I should like to know whether that is the real meaning of this transaction or not? As this is a new Vote, the House is also entitled to know whether the Government have any policy with regard to the future of this estate. It may or may not be—and I offer no opinion on this point, as I am not qualified—a good or a bad thing to attempt to grow sugar beet in this country. There may be some hon. Members who do know. But we ought to know from the Government, in view of promises which have been made in other directions of bonuses to all kinds of interests, whether the Board of Agriculture, before the surrender of the 5,000 acres, are going to subsidise this experiment of growing sugar beet in the country, and is that to be supported by the Government as part of their policy? This is the first opportunity we have had of getting an answer to that question and of understanding what the Government's policy is in regard to it. I do not think it is sufficient simply to tell us the kind of details which the Parliamentary Secretary gave us with regard to the outgoings and incomings of a part of the estate. I think the House is entitled to have answers to the kind of questions I have put, and I hope there is someone opposite who can give them.

Photo of Mr James Lowther Mr James Lowther , Penrith and Cockermouth

I do not think the question of future policy arises here unless the money really involves future policy, in which case it would be open for discussion.

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

This item has nothing to do, Sir, with future policy. It only has to do with what has been expended over and above the original Estimate during the current financial year, and that is in relation to the ordinary working of part of this estate as a farm. It has got no relation to the future of the experiment with sugar beet cultivation. I shall be only too glad at the proper time to give any answers as to what is proposed to be done, but I could not give a complete answer now because negotiations are proceeding. In any case, I submit that it does not arise here. In regard to the other point raised by my hon. Friend opposite, what he said is perfectly true. In order to work a part of this estate £40,000 was borrowed from the Development Fund, and that is the only item we have to deal with to-day. I think the Committee will agree with me that it would have been a grave misfortune if this land had not been properly cultivated when we were in a position to make good use of it. I quite appreciate the desire expressed by hon. Members for a more detailed statement of accounts and I hope I shall be able to give them a more detailed, statement, although I am not in a position to do so this afternoon. For the time being, what I say is that we made the best possible use of the land, it was thoroughly well worked by a joint committee of the Board and this association, it was useful from the point of view of food production, and I think we were thoroughly justified in obtaining this loan, without which the estate could not have been worked.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

I am willing to accommodate my hon. Friend, but I would like to suggest that as he thinks as a result of the discussion Members should have a more detailed account, the Government should not take this precise Vote to-night. There are a large number of Votes on the Paper and if the Government themselves think further particulars ought to be supplied they ought not to take this Vote now. On the point as to whether or not future policy is involved, this £40,000 is being taken out of the Development Fund, which was constituted in order to encourage various attempts in this country, such as this particular experiment, if it were approved of, to be proceeded with, and my objection is this, that for the purpose of providing food during the War, when means could have been got otherwise, the Development Fund was encroached upon to the extent of £40,000 to meet that loss. I want a definite statement from the Government that this does not mean more than what appears on the face of the Estimate, and will the Government explain that before they would assist this company to proceed with the experiment the House would have the opportunity of discussing and determining that policy?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel John Moore-Brabazon Lieut-Colonel John Moore-Brabazon , Rochester Chatham

May I ask the hon. Gentleman if he will explain the reason why six months' quarantine is now required in regard to the outbreak of rabies, seeing that four months used to be the prescribed period. If four months was long enough before, why are we taking six months to-day?

Photo of Mr Charles Henry Mr Charles Henry , The Wrekin

My hon. Friend the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge) spoke as if the £40,000 was a loss, but is it a loss? Is it not a fact that this is a substantial asset, and that it is not a trading loss at all?

Photo of Mr George Lambert Mr George Lambert , South Molton

May I suggest, on the point of Order, that this opens up the future policy of the Board, because the Board could not have expended £50,000 on the capital and management of the estate without committing themselves to the future development of the estate. I do not want to go into that, but to raise another point. This is apparently the very first occasion on which the Board of Agriculture have taken over the management of an estate. I do not remember anything like it before. [An Hon. Member: "Bushey Park!"] That was the Board of Works, and not a very successful experiment either. The Board of Agriculture has taken over this estate from a private company for the purposes of food production, but surely there is a food production committee in each county which could have taken over this matter, and I do not understand why it is that the Board of Agriculture itself should have taken over the management of this farm. I am sure my hon. Friend will agree that if he was criticising this Vote instead of supporting it he would think his explanations have been singularly obscure. I hope that before this Vote comes before the main Committee of the House, by some means or other, we shall have circulated some idea of what the Board's commitments and proposals are in regard to this method of farming. The question of the nationalisation of land is being raised a good deal nowadays. If the land is nationalised it will presumably be managed by the Board of Agriculture, and apparently this is not a very favourable commencement. I would ask my hon. Friend to give us that information. If it is a question of food production in the counties, surely it was a matter for the War Agricultural Executive Committee, which is charged with this special duty in each county.

Photo of Mr Evan Hayward Mr Evan Hayward , Seaham

When the hon. Gentleman does give us details I hope he will also tell us what the Government proposals are for the future. I gather from the Paer that£51,000 as been taken fr farmig somebdy elses estat, and w have oly £11,00 retured up t the present. I hope, therefore, when the hon. Member gives us further details, he will let us know the nature of the tenancy.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

Has there been a loss at all on this experiment? If so, what is the loss? It is not clear at all that there has been any loss as far as I can gather. But if there has been a loss, why should there be on food cultivation in this country at the present time? Prices were never more satisfactory and never likely to be more satisfactory, and, therefore, before we pass this item, we ought to have a more complete explanation.

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

I am really very sorry if I have been obscure. I am sure the Committee will believe that I have not wished to be obscure. There has been no loss of £40,000 at all. In order that this land might be cultivated, £40,000 was borrowed from the Development Fund. [An Hon. Member: "On what security?"] On the security of the land. The land belongs to the British Sugar Beet Growers' Society, and they were not in a position to start operations owing to the War. A certain part of the estate had no tenants on it, and the question was what was to be done with that land. The association had not got the capital at the time to start and cultivate the land, and they came to the Board. I am speaking now to the best of my ability, but hon. Members will recognise that I was not myself on the Board at that time; but the Board said they would endeavour to see them through. A joint committee of management of the Board and of the society was arranged, £40,000 was borrowed from the Development Fund for working capital, stocking, and so forth, and as soon as ever the arrangements of the society are complete for starting on their sugar-beet experiment they will repay the £40,000, so that there is no loss whatever. The question was this: Were we to allow the land to remain derelict? And the best way was for the Board of Agriculture to assist by making this loan out of the Development Fund. I have not got further details at present as to the profit and loss account, but I am informed that it has been exceedingly well managed. This is a mere transitory item, and it is not likely to occur again, because I hope that shortly the association will be in a position to start with their proper experiment and to repay the loan.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

How much is the loan?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

Forty thousand pounds. It is wrong to suggest that there has been a loss of that money. With regard to the question put by my hon. and gallant Friend opposite about muzzling, I think he was right in saying that four months used to be the regular period for muzzling, and now it is six. This unfortunate outbreak of rabies has taught us to believe that four months was not a sufficient time and that it was necessary to keep dogs under control nd obsevation or a loger perod, and therefoe the fur monts was atered tsix moths. I ope tha after his expanation the Committee will allow me to have the Vote.

5.0 P.M.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

I have listened to a great many of these discussions on Supplementary Estimates and have never yet heard of us getting rid of an Estimate in which the Government were lending £40,000 to some private individuals who may, or may not, succeed in repaying that money. Supposing these circumstances arise. Supposing this company cannot do what it sets out to do, or supposing there are sufficient influential people on this company to induce this or any other Government to give them a grant of money to develop their estate so that they can repay the £40,000. What is the policy of the Government? I respectfully suggest to the Committee that we are parting with something we do not understand if we let the Government have this Estimate now. I again appeal to my hon. Friend to leave it there. It is not essential to take the Estimate to-day. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury will agree at once that it is not necessary to take it to-day, and I think my hon. Friend should agree, in view of the conversation we have had, to put the Estimate back until we have these other details. If there is something in it, then the House retains its hold upon this money.

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

I would suggest that the far better course is to let me have this Vote now, and the matter can be raised again on Report.

Captain WILSON:

The hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge) has appeared this afternoon in an entirely new character, as a champion of agriculture, and I do not think he has shown that he knows very much of the subject on which he has talked. I very much hope the representative of the Board of Agriculture will not listen to the representations the hon. Member has made. The explanations which my hon. Friend has given to the Committee are as clear as they can possibly be, and I congratulate him and the Government on the action they have taken in regard to this matter.

Photo of Mr Charles White Mr Charles White , Derbyshire Western

May I ask who are the Sugar Beet Society, how much of this £51,000 was working capital, and how much was used for the management of the estate?

Sir A. BOSCAWEN:

The hon. Member has quite as easy an opportunity of ascertaining the names of the Sugar Beet Society as I have. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] There are one or two hon. Members in this House connected with it. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I cannot, in reply to a question, give the names of everyone connected with it, but if the hon. Gentleman likes to put a question to me as to who are the directors or managers of it, I shall be only too glad to answer it.

Question put, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £5, be granted to His Majesty to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st day of March, 1919, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, of the Agricultural Wages Board, and of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, including certain Grants-in-Aid.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 233; Noes, 49.

Division No. 7.]AYES.[5.3 p.m.
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteCowan, D. M. (Scottish Univ.)Henderson, Major V. L.
Ainsworth, Captain C.Craig, Capt. C. (Antrim)Hennessy, Major G.
Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Col. MartinCraik, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryHenry, Sir Charles S. (Salop)
Astor, Major Hon. WaldortDavies, T. (Cirencester)Herbert, Dennis (Hertford)
Bagley, Captain E. A.Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)Howart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon
Baird, John LawrenceDenison-Pender, John C.Higham, C. F. (Islington, S.)
Baldwin, StanleyDennis, J. W.Hilder, Lieut.-Col. F.
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Denniss, Edmund R. B.Hinds, John
Banner, Sir J. S. Harmood-Dewhurst, Lieut.-Com. H.Hoare, Lt.-Col. Sir Samuel J. G.
Barker, Major R.Dockrell, Sir MHohler, Gerald Fitzroy
Barnett, Captain Richard W.Donald, T.Hood, Joseph
Barnston, Major HarryDoyle, N. GrattanHope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)
Beck, Arthur CecilDuncannon, ViscountHope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. (Midlothian)
Benn, Com. Ian Hamilton (G'nwich)Edwards, A. Clement (East Ham, S.)Hope, John Deans (Berwick)
Bentinck, Lt.-Col. Lord H. Cavendish-Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)Hopkins, J. W. W.
Bethell, Sir John HenryFalcon, Captain M.Horne, Edgar (Guildford)
Bigland, AlfredFalle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayHughes, Spencer Leigh
Blake, Sir Francis DouglasFarquharson, Major A. C.Hunter, Gen. Sir A. (Lancaster)
Berwick, Major G. O.Fell, Sir ArthurInskip, T. W. H.
Boscawen, Sir Arthur Griffith-Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.Jephcott, A. R.
Bowles, Col. H. F.FitzRoy, Capt. Hon. Edward A.Jodrell, N. P.
Brassey, H. L. C.Forestier-Walker, L.Johnstone, J.
Bruton, Sir J.Foxcroft, Captain C.Jones, Sir E. R. (Merthyr)
Burdon, Col. RowlandGardiner, J. (Perth)Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)
Burn, Col. C. R. (Torquay)Gardner, E. (Berks., Windsor)Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen)
Burn, T. H. (Belfast)Gibbs, Colonel George AbrahamKellaway, Frederick George
Campbell, J. G. D.Gilbert, James DanielKerr-Smiley, Major P.
Campion, Col. W. R.Glyn, Major R.Kidd, James
Carew, Charles R. S. (Tiverton)Gould, J. C.Knight, Capt. E. A.
Carr, W. T.Green, J. F. (Leicester)Law, A. J. (Rochdale)
Cayzer, Major H. R.Greene, Lt.-Col. W. (Hackney, N.)Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ. Wales)
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)Greenwood, Col. Sir HamarLewis, T. A. (Pontypridd, Glam.)
Cheyne, Sir William WatsonGreig, Col. James WilliamLindsay, William Arthur
Child, Brig.-Gen. Sir HillGretton, Col. JohnLocker-Lampson G. (Wood Green)
Clay, Capt. H. H. SpenderGriggs, Sir PeterLocker-Lampson, Com. O. (Hunt'don)
Coates, Major Sir Edward F.Gritten, W. G. HowardLonsdale, James R.
Cockerill, Brig.-Gen. G. K.Guest, Capt. Hon. F. E. (Dorset, E.)Lorden, John William
Cohen, Major J. B. B.Guinness, Lt.-Col. Hon. W.E. (B. St. E.)Lort-Williams, J.
Colvin, Brig.-Gen. R. B.Hailwood, A.Loseby, Captain C. E.
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir Fred (Dulwich)Lowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)
Conway, Sir W. MartinHallas, E.Lowther, Col. C. (Lansdale, Lancs.)
Cory, Sir Clifford John (St. Ives)Hambro, Angus ValdemarLyon, L.
M'Donald, D. H. (Bothwell, Lanark)Pilditch, Sir PhilipTalbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)
M'Guffin, SamuelPownall, Lt.-Col. AsshetonTaylor, J. (Dumbarton)
M'Laren, R. (Lanark, N.)Preston, W. R.Terrell, G. (Chippenham, Wilts.)
M'Lean, Lt.-Col. C. W. W. (Brigg)Pulley, Charles ThorntonTerrell, Capt. R. (Henley, Oxford)
Macmaster, DonaldPurchase, H. G.Thomas, Sir R. (Wrexham, Denb.)
M'Micking, Major GilbertRaeburn, Sir WilliamThompson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)
Macquisten, F. A.Raw, Lt.-Col. Dr. N.Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Marriott, John Arthur R.Rees, Captain J. Tudor-Townley, Maximillian G.
Mason, RobertReid, D. D.Tryon, Major George Clement
Mildmay, Col. Rt. Hon. Francis B.Rendall, AthelstanTurton, Edmund Russborough
Mitchell, William Lane-Renwick, G.Walker, Col. William Hall
Moles, ThomasRichardson, Albion (Peckham)Wallace, J.
Molson, Major John ElsdaleRoberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)Walton, J. (York, Don Valley)
Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred MoritzRobinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)
Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. C. T.Rodger, A. K.Watson, Captain John Bertrand
Moreing, Captain Algernon H.Rogers, Sir HallewellWhite, Col. G. D. (Southport)
Morris, RichardRoundell, Lt.-Col. R. F.Whitla, Sir William
Mosley, OswaldRowlands, JamesWhittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Mount, William ArthurRutherford, Col. Sir J. (Darwen)Williams, Col. sir R. (Dorset, W.)
Munro, Rt. Hon. RobertRutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)Williams, T. J. (Swansea, E.)
Murchison, C. K.Samuel, A. L. (Eye, E. Suffolk)Williamson, Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald
Nall, Major JosephSamuel, A. M. (Farnham, Surrey)Wills, Lt.-Col. Sir Gilbert Alan H.
Nelson, R. F. W. R.Samuels, Rt. Hon. A. W. (Dublin Univ.)Wilson, Capt. A. (Hold'ness, Yorks.)
Newman, Major J. (Finchley, Mddx.)Sanders, Colonel Robert ArthurWilson, Daniel M. (Down, W.)
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. (Exeter)Seager, Sir WilliamWilson, Col. M. (Richmond, Yorks.)
Nicholl, Com. Sir EdwardSeddon, J. A.Wilson-Fox, Henry
Nicholson, W. (Petersfield)Seely, Maj.-Gen. Rt. Hon. JohnWinterton, Major Earl
O'Neill, Capt. Hon. Robert W. H.Shaw, Capt. W. T. (Forfar)Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, W.)
Palmer, Major G. M.Shortt, Rt. Hon. E.Woolcock, W. J. U.
Palmer, Brig.-Gen. G. (Westbury)Simm, M. T.Yate, Col. Charles Edward
Parker, JamesSmith, Harold (Warrington)Yeo, Sir Alfred William
Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)Sprot, Col. Sir AlexanderYoung, Sir F. W. (Swindon)
Peel, Lt.-Col. R. F. (Woodbridge)Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Preston)Young, William (Perth and Kinross)
Pennefather, De FonblanqueStarkey, Capt. John Ralph
Perkins, Walter FrankSteel, Major S. StrangTELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Lord E.
Perring, William GeorgeStewart, GershomTalbot and Mr. Pratt.
Philipps, Sir O. C. (Chester)Sturrock, J. Leng-
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamHall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)Short, A. (Wednesbury)
Arnold, SydneyHayday, A.Sitch, C. H.
Bell, James (Ormskirk)Hayward, Major EvanSmith, Capt. A. (Nelson and Colne)
Brace, Rt. Hon. WilliamHirst, G. H.Spoor, B. G.
Briant, F.Kenyon, BarnetSwan, J. E. C.
Brown, J. (Ayr and Bute)Kiley, James DanielThomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Cape, TomLambert, Rt. Hon. GeorgeThomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)
Carter, W. (Mansfield)Lunn, WilliamThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Crooks, Rt. Hon. WilliamM'Callum, Sir John M.White, Charles F. (Derby, W.)
Davies, Alfred (Clitheroe)O'Connor, T. P.Wignall, James
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)O'Grady, JamesWilliams, J. (Gower, Glam.)
Devlin, JosephOnions, AlfredWilliams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough)
Entwistle, Major C. F.Redmond, Captain William A.Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Galbraith, SamuelRichardson, R. (Houghton)Young, Robert (Newton, Lancs.)
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)Roberts, F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Green, A. (Derby)Royce, William StapletonTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Griffiths, T. (Pontypool)Sexton, JamesHogge and Mr. Neil M'Lean.
Grundy, T. W.

Question put, and agreed to.