HC Deb 19 November 1912 vol 44 cc100-1

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether, in view of the multiplicity of duties at present undertaken by the Scottish Office, and in order that Scottish agricultural interests may be adequately safeguarded and promoted, he will now recommend the appointment of a Parliamentary Secretary to the Scottish Board of Agriculture; and whether he will take steps to set up a consultative committee for the purpose of advising the Board as to the requirements of the various districts of the country?

The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. McKinnon Wood)

The suggestion made in the first part of the question was rejected when moved on the Report stage of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Bill by the hon. Member, at a time when it was proposed that the functions of the Scottish Board should include the administration of the Diseases of Animals Acts. As the administration of those Acts was not ultimately transferred to the Board, the main ground on which special representation in this House was urged has disappeared, and the Government are not prepared to propose legislation in the direction suggested. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative. The Board of Agriculture for Scotland is in touch with, and receives information from, all the important Scottish societies and associations concerned with agriculture.


Does the right hon. Gentleman admit the suggestion in the first part of the question, that the multiplicity of duties at the Scottish Office is too great for any white man?


The hon. Member who put the question worded it rather more politely. He referred merely to the multiplicity of duties. I admit the multiplicity of duties.