§ MR. HOZIER (Lanarkshire, S.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, in view of the 850 character of the Report recently issued by the Board with regard to the plague of field mice, or voles, in the South of Scotland, he will, without delay, appoint a Committee to inquire and report as to the causes of the visitation, and the best means of getting rid of it?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
If I thought that the appointment of a Committee would solve the difficulty which is presented by this question, I would appoint one to-morrow, but I cannot see that it would add anything to the information already before us. I am afraid the plague is mainly due to natural and climatic causes, and that it is only to natural causes that we can look for its disappearance. I am encouraged in this belief by what occurred when it made its appearance before, some 16 years ago. I think that probably, where it is feasible, burning might be resorted to with advantage; but beyond this I frankly acknowledge that, with all the information we have been able to obtain, I am entirely at a loss to suggest any effective remedy for this calamitous visitation. I can only add that I shall be glad to do anything in my power to give prompt effect to any suggestions which may be made by others which may appear to give any reasonable hope of effecting the object in view.