§ MR. LEA
I bog to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether his attention has been drawn to a letter from a large landowner in Hampshire to one of his tenants stating that, if this or any other tenant insisted upon their power under the Ground Game Act of constantly disturbing the land in pursuit of ground game, he would change his tenant; whether he is aware that the tenant in question had held a farm on this estate for over thirty years, and, in consequence of having exercised his legal rights under the Ground Game Act to protect his crops, was driven from his farm and thereby incurred a serious pecuniary loss; and whether the Board of Agriculture will consider what steps can be taken to protect the interests of the tenants referred to.
§ MR. J. WARD
asked the hon. Baronet in his reply to state whether the large landowner referred to was the Earl of Portsmouth, the Under-Secretary of State for War.
THE TREASURER OF THE HOUSEHOLD (Sir EDWARD STRACHKY, Somersetshire, S.)
We have no knowledge of the facts of the matter to which my hon. friend refers, and this being the case I cannot say whether it be possible for the Board to intervene in any way with respect to it. Perhaps my hon. friend will furnish me with any information on the subject which he may possess.
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY
It is true the hon. Gentleman was good enough to write to me referring to the newspaper called Truth, but up to now I have not had an opportunity of seeing it.
§ MR. LEA
May I ask the Prime Minister, in view of his recent vigorous speech on land reform, which contained a scathing allusion to the growing excess of game preservation and the supposed rights of landowners over pheasants and hares, whether he does not consider it incompatible with his expressed views that a noble landowner like the present Under-Secretary of State for War should continue to hold office in this democratic Government?
THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Sir H.CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN, Stirling Burghs)
Only five minutes ago I was not aware of any of the alleged circumstances in this case, but the opinions I have expressed are my opinions, and 1 hold to them. We must know a little more about the matter before we proceed to take action.