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I am delighted that the hon. Gentleman wants to protect me from possible arrest should I deliver leaflets in future. Who knows what the result might have been had we been able to deliver them during the foot and mouth crisis?
The Minister was sympathetic to the fact that farmers should not be over-burdened with costs or made uncompetitive by the scrapie eradication programme. The amendment would change the important word ''may'' to ''shall''. It would not ensure that the Minister paid all the costs, but only that he would make regulations providing for their payment. It does not set out what the payment should be, how or when it should be made, but only that regulations should provide for compensation of farmers in the compulsory eradication of scrapie. The Minister would not want farmers co-operating with the Government in the eradication of scrapie to lose out. This modest amendment should be instantaneously accepted by the Minister as it would give force to his earlier view.