HC Deb 13 December 1906 vol 167 cc675-6

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether, in view of the danger to the fruit-growers of Great Britain in consequence of the outbreaks of American gooseberry mildew in this country, a danger admitted by the Board in the circular just issued by the Department, he will undertake at the earliest possible date to introduce legislation giving power to the Board, both to prohibit the importation of gooseberry bushes into Great Britain, and also to deal effectively within the country with infected stocks and insect pests, on the lines of the Destructive Insects Act, 1877.


Full inquiry is being made as to the necessity and practicability of legislation in the direction suggested by the hon. Member, but until we are in possession of further information as to the characteristics and past history of the disease, and the nature and extent of the trade with which it is proposed to deal, it is not possible for us to enter into any definite undertaking on the subject. We fully appreciate, however, the importance of taking any action which may be decided upon as speedily as possible.

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