§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether the information which he has given to the House to the effect that in Russia 450,000 animals were attacked with foot-and-mouth disease in June last, that in Germany the disease existed on 33,707 premises at the end of October, that in Holland 4,391 outbreaks occurred in October, that in Belgium the disease existed on 1,069 sets of premises at the beginning of October, and that in France the disease was reported from 20,729 sets of premises in September, can be reduced to some common denominator of either outbreaks, cases, or premises, and preferably referable to about the same date, so as more accurately to compare like with like?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Runciman)
The statistics in question are those given in 1588 the official returns issued by the Governments of the various countries concerned. I do not see what steps I could take to secure their preparation on a uniform basis so as to enable a precise and accurate comparison of the figures to be made. The essential fact what I have to keep in view is that foot-and-mouth disease prevails extensively in all the countries named.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
I beg to ask a question of which I have given private notice, namely, as to whether it is true that an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has occurred at Yeovil, in Somersetshire, and whether the right hon. Gentleman can give any information?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
We have just been informed that there are two or three cases of disease in Somerset which are suspected to be foot-and-mouth disease. The diagnosis is not completed, but the chief veterinary officer of the Board has been dispatched by the first train, and I hope to have his report very shortly, and I will communicate the information to the House.