HC Deb 02 December 1908 vol 197 cc1449-50
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.


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.


Is it not the fact that kiln-dried oats have generally teen wet oats?


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 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.


But are not wet oats kiln-dried? That is the point.


Is it not often very difficult to tell whether or not oats are kiln-dried?

[No Answer was returned.]