82. Colonel M. J. WILSON
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, seeing that a number of horses and mules have been sold out of the Army, he will issue instructions by which a proportional amount of the hay and straw earmarked for purchase by the War Department will be released at the earliest possible opportunity?
Any supplies of hay and straw earmarked for purchase by the War Department, which it has been found will not be required, have already been handed over to the Civil Supplies Central Council (Forage Department), which deals with the distribution of hay and straw for civilian purposes. Should it be found that the Army requires less hay and straw than it at present anticipated, the same course will be pursued.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that part of the 1916 crop, which was earmarked for purchase, has not yet been taken?
83. Colonel WILSON
asked whether an approximate date can be given on which the present restrictions on the buying of hay and straw will be removed?
The restrictions on the buying of straw (subject to the maximum prices not being exceeded) were removed by an Army Council Order dated the 23rd January last, which came into force on the 1st instant. It is unlikely that the restrictions on hay will be removed in so far as they concern the 1918 crop.