HC Deb 07 November 1906 vol 164 cc553-4
*MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset-shire, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he is aware that thirty farmers of Montgomeryshire were recently prosecuted at Llanidloes for exposing sheep for sale without declaration of their having been dipped; that the defendants were unaware of the existence of the regulation they contravened, and were in many eases unacquainted with English; that the circulars were not printed and published in local newspapers or circulated in Welsh to those affected; that the Order is too long, intricate, and technical to be readily understood by others than lawyers; that the Llanidloes bench dismissed the charges on the ground that the law was broken without knowledge of its existence, and was not available in Welsh; that farmers in the Newtown district have been fined for breach of the aforesaid order; whether he will arrange that such regulations should be published in Welsh and English in all the news- papers of such an important sheep breeding area as Montgomery county and district; and whether he will take the necessary steps to remove the grievance now brought to notice.

SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)

The Board are aware of the prosecutions to which my hon. friend refers, and of the circumstances to which he directs attention. The proceedings were taken at the instance of the local authority, with whom rests the duty of publishing the Orders of the Board. We are, of course, anxious that the fullest possible publicity should be given to those Orders, and we propose to communicate with the local authority on the subject. I shall be happy to acquaint my hon. friend with the result.