§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Belfast, W.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to a statement in The Times newspaper, alleging that Canadian cattle owners are disposed to doubt the disinterestedness of the English experts appointed to examine Canadian cattle, and that they would therefore bitterly resent any decision made by those authorities adverse to their own interest; whether there is any foundation whatever for this attack upon the bona fides of the Imperial officers; and whether Dr. M'Eachran, F.R.C.V.S., Inspector of Stock, and Chief Veterinary Inspector of the Quebec Department of Agriculture, is the principal officer charged with certifying the existence of pleuro-pneumonia in cattle about to be exported from Canada to the United Kingdom; and, if so, whether Dr. M'Eachran is still managing director of the Walrond Ranch, Alberta, or has any interest in that or any other Company engaged in exporting cattle from Canada to the United Kingdom?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. H. GARDNER,) Essex, Saffron Walden
With regard to the concluding question of the hon. Member, I would say that I possess no official information on the matters referred to, but I am informed by the Colonial Office that it has been ascertained through the Governor General of Canada that Professor M'Eachran is connected with the Walrond Ranche, but in what capacity is not stated. In reply to the first two questions, I would say that I have seen the newspaper statement to which the hon. Member refers, but I do not gather that it is anything more than the repetition of vague and irresponsible gossip. I may, perhaps, be allowed to state that I have had the honour of presiding over and working with the officers in question for now nearly two years, and no one knows better than I do their great ability, and absolute straightforwardness in the discharge of their public duties.
§ MR. MACARTNEY (Antrim, S.)
Will the right hon. Gentleman ascertain whether there is any foundation for these statements? Considering the great importance of this traffic, I think he should inquire if they are absolutely without foundation.