HC Deb 14 January 1913 vol 46 cc1880-1
52. Mr. FELL

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if Sir Sydney Olivier will act also as Secretary of the Fisheries Branch of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries; and, if so, if he has had any previous acquaintance with the subject and the difficult problems now under investigation by a committee of the Fisheries Department of the Board?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I do not know how far Sir Sydney Olivier is acquainted with the problems to which the hon. Member refers, but I have no doubt that his administrative experience and ability will enable him to use the recommendations of the Board's expert advisers to the best advantage.


Are retired Colonial Governors of advanced age capable of pursuing the arduous study of the problems that arise at the Board?


There are two misstatements in the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question. Sir Sydney Olivier is not a retired Colonial Governor—he is still in active service—and he is not of an advanced age.


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House whether the late Secretary of the Fisheries Board, Sir Thomas Elliott, had any experience of fishery problems when he was appointed by a Unionist Ministry?


I would like to have notice of that; but my recollection is that Sir Thomas Elliott was private secretary to the right hon. Gentleman who is now a Member of this House before he took up his duties at the Board of Agriculture.


asked when Sir Sydney Olivier will take up his duties as Permanent Secretary of the Board; and whether, for a time after doing so, he will enjoy the benefit of the guidance and long experience of the present Secretary, Sir Thomas Elliott?


Sir Sydney Olivier will take up his duties as Permanent Secretary of the Board on 4th February next. From my knowledge of Sir Thomas Elliott I have no doubt that he will be glad at any time to give to his successor the benefit of his experience.


Does the right hon. Gentleman think Sir Sydney Olivier's knowledge of Socialism will be of any advantage to the Board of Agriculture?