CAPTAIN FABER (Hampshire, Andover)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he will state whether kiln-dried oats are allowed to be issued to Army horses.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. HALDANE,) Haddington
Kiln-dried oats are only allowed to be issued to Army horses provided that such oats fully comply with the contract specification in regard to quality, i.e., that the oats must be good, sound, sweet, dry, clean, without any admixture of light or damaged oats, barley, peas, or other grains, and must weigh not less than 30 lbs. per imperial bushel, or in the case of clipped oats, 40 lbs.
§ MR. HALDANE
In anticipation of that Question, I have provided myself with the best opinions I could get, and I will read them. They are:—
Opinion of the Director of Supplies.—Oats grown in this country are kiln-dried only, I believe, when they have become damaged, in which case they would not come under our present specification as being "good, sound, and sweet," and would be rejected. Foreign oats, especially Russian, are frequently slightly kiln-dried to improve their keeping powers, and this process, if the oats are in good condition, is almost unobjectionable. It is extremely difficult to tell whether a sound oat has been kiln-dried or not, and it would be useless to put a condition into our specification that we could not prove.
Opinion of the Director-General, Army Veterinary Services. — Foreign oats are 1450 kiln-dried for safety in transit. Damaged oats are sometimes kiln-dried in order to effect; sales. Kiln-drying is an absolutely harmless process. If the grain is damaged, it is chemical changes in the oats, and not kiln-drying which cause disease.
§ [No Answer was returned.]