§ 25. Mr. P. A. HARRIS
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he can explain the mortality among horses belonging to the Food Production Department in Leicestershire; whether the hay and straw were supplied by the 21 Army authorities; and whether he is aware that it has been alleged that the hay and straw used were of bad quality and proved unfit for use, and that on the 6th April, 1918, the manager of Ashby Mill reported that 6 tons of chaff and 5 tons of straw had been received from the Government unfit for use?
§ Sir R. WINFREY
I understand that the deaths of nine horses belonging to the Department in Leicestershire were probably in some measure due to, or were accelerated by, the inferior quality of the forage supplied to them by the Army Service Corps. The statements in the last part of the question appear to be correct. I may say that immediately upon the discovery that the forage supplied was unfit for use, steps were taken to obtain forage from another source, and that the arrangements for dealing with the feeding of these horses appear to be now satisfactory.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Will the Board of Agriculture make arrangements with the War Office to allow the representatives of the Food Production Department to make local purchases for local requirements when emergency arises?