Foot-and-Mouth Disease.

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture. – in the House of Commons at on 14 February 1938.

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Photo of Major James Despencer Robertson Major James Despencer Robertson , Salisbury

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will consult actuarial experts with a view to the possibility of formulating a scheme for the State insurance of farmers against foot-and-mouth diesase and against the whole loss incurred by them, in the public interest, when their animals are slaughtered, including loss of profits, whereby their business is destroyed?

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

The question of the State insurance of stock owners against losses which may be incurred through the compulsory slaughter of stock for the purpose or eradicating foot-and-mouth disease was considered by the Departmental Committee on Foot-and-Mouth Disease in 1924. In their report (Cmd. 2350) the Committee expressed the opinion that a compulsory insurance scheme would be both costly and administratively difficult owing to the constantly varying number of stock in the hands of stock owners and the abnormal risks involved. The Committee also drew attention to serious objections, from the point of view of public policy, to such a scheme. I see no reason to dissent from the views on this subject expressed by the Departmental Committee.

Photo of Mr James de Rothschild Mr James de Rothschild , Isle of Ely

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the matter of compensation, dairy farmers are treated worse than ordinary stockholders?

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

No, Sir; I am not aware of that. The fact is that the terms of compensation are laid down in the Statute, and are beyond my control.