112 and 114. Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
asked the Secretary for Scotland (1) whether he has received a communication from the Blackfaced-Sheep Breeders' Association with regard to the damage caused by deer and other game, not only to hill-grazings, but also to the crops on the arable land, whereby the producing capacity of the land as regards sheep and cattle is greatly reduced; whether it has been represented to him that shepherds have been unable with their dogs to keep the deer back during the spring months from grazing over the best land, and that during a lying snowstorm the sheep have no chance with the deer, as the latter can move so much more freely on to the places where the snow has melted, and that the displacing of sheep for deer is still going on; and whether he proposes to take any action; and (2) whether his attention has been called to the recommendations of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland as 380 to the minimum amendments necessary in the Game Laws, and the practice in regard thereto, with a view to increasing the food production of the country; and whether he proposes to take any action?
§ Mr. TENNANT
The complaints of the National Farmers' Union and the Black-faced Sheep Breeders' Association have been brought to my notice by the Board of Agriculture for Scotland, who have recently been in communication with these associations on the subject. I am informed that prima facie there would seem to be some ground for the complaints made. The Board have invited the observations and suggestions of the District Agricultural Committee throughout Scotland on the matter, and before expressing my view as to any action which might usefully be taken I would desire to consult the Board after they have considered the terms of the replies which are now being received from these committees. As I informed the hon. Member for Stirlingshire last week, the work of a committee which with official assistance has been considering plans for killing as many deer as possible during the present season has a direct bearing on this subject.