Horse Hire (Glamorgan).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 24th March 1925.

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Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

35.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Mr. Rhys Davies, farmer, of Mill Farm, Miskin, Pontyclun, Glamorgan, and a number of other farmers in Glamorgan, have not yet been paid for the hire of horses supplied for the Territorial trainings held last summer in the County of Glamorgan; and whether he will have this grievance of the farmers affected rectified forthwith?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

I find that this is not a matter in which the War Department or the Glamorganshire Territorial Association can intervene. The farmers' claims are against a sub-contractor of the firm who supplied the horses to the Territorial Association. I am informed that there is nothing owing to this sub-contractor either by the Association or their contractor, but owing to other losses he is unable at present to meet his obligations to the farmers.

Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

Is the War Office not really responsible, and did not these men imagine that the War Office would be responsible for seeing that they were covered?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

I am afraid that all that the War Office or, rather, the Territorial Association, have done is to pay the person with whom they contracted, and it is a sub-contractor who has defaulted to the farmers. For that, I am sorry, but I cannot assume the liability.

Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that he will see to it that in future people shall be protected from sub-contractors acting in this way?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

No. I cannot give any undertaking that no one will make a bad debt. I could give advice, that the farmers should see that the sub-contractor with whom they contract is a person of position.

Photo of Colonel Sir Joseph Nall Colonel Sir Joseph Nall , Manchester Hulme

Is it not the duty of associations to hire the horses from as many contractors as possible, and where a contractor hires from a sub-contractor, ought not the association to take some steps to see that the sub-contractor is adequately protected?

Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these farmers are dependent in summer time on these contractors, and why should the War Office get the benefit of the horses and not be liable to the farmers?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

The hon. Gentleman assumes that either the War Office or the association has not paid, but it has paid. It has paid the contractor. I hope it will not occur again that the farmers will be cheated by a sub-contractor.