HC Deb 16 November 1893 vol 18 cc1035-7
SIR W. WEDDERBURN (Banffshire)

I Beg to ask the president of the of Agriculture whether he is aware that the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into agricultural depression has not taken any steps to make local inquiry into the condition and needs of the farmers of the County of Banff, nor has sent questions to be answered by Local Agricultural Societies and leading agriculturists; and whether he will advise the Commission to give the farmers and crofters of Banffshire an opportunity of stating their case?


I have no official information upon the matter to which the hon. Baronet refers, but I have no doubt that the case of Banffshire, as well as that of other counties, will receive complete consideration at the hands of the Royal Commission, and I shall be happy to bring the question under the notice of my right hon. Friend.

MR. DODD (Essex, Maldon)

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what the Commission is doing. Is it taking evidence? Where can we find any note of its proceedings?


Will the right hon. Gentleman consult with the Chairman of the Commission as to the extreme advisability of the proceedings of the Commission being taken publicly?


I shall be glad to bring the matter under the notice of the Commission and of my right hon. Friend (he Chairman.

MR. W. SMITH (Lancashire, N., North Lonsdale)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, having regard to the great interest taken by the whole agricultural population of the country in the finding of a remedy for the present depressed state of agriculture, he will use hi* influence to induce the Royal Commission now sitting in London to admit reporters to its proceedings?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. The Royal Commission on Agriculture decided a few days ago to follow the example of the Duke of Richmond's Commission and many other Commissions, and not to admit reporters. They will, however, publish their evidence at frequent intervals, and without waiting for the conclusion of their inquiry.


What is the Royal Commission now doing? Is it going to take any evidence?


The Commission sat two days last week, on one of which they took evidence. They will meet again to-morrow for the purpose of taking evidence, and in future will meet two days a week.

MR. CHANNING (Northampton)

Is it the case that the Commission decided not to admit the Press?


There was a discussion as to the admission of the Press, but the hon. Member who moved in the matter eventually withdrew his motion, and therefore no vote was taken on the subject.

MR. PAUL (Edinburgh, S.)

What is the objection to the admission of the public Press?

[No answer was given.]