91. Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY
asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that, in response to appeals by the Board of Agriculture for Scotland in 1917, landowners generally showed themselves anxious to assist the Board in its efforts to make hill areas available for the grazing of cattle and sheep, and that only in a comparatively few cases was it found necessary for the Board to have recourse to its powers under the Defence of the Realm Regulation 2 M; whether he has any information to the effect that it is intended in certain instances to reserve for sporting purposes areas which, since 1917, have been available for grazing; whether he is aware that since the outbreak of war much permanent pasture has been compulsorily broken up and is not in the meantime available for grazing, with the result that the head of livestock in some counties has been reduced; and whether, in view of the national necessity for reasonable facilities being afforded for summer grazing and of the uncertainty that exists as to the present position, he will define the existing powers of proprietors in the matter?
§ Mr. MUNRO
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I have no information in regard to particular areas which it is now proposed to reserve for sporting purposes, but the Deer Forests Committee is at present investigating this matter. The answer to the third part of the question is in the affirmative. The total cattle stock in Scotland in June, 1919, was, however, larger than in June, 1914, and while ten counties showed a decrease, this was not considerable. The sheep stock in June, 1039 1919, was the lowest on record, but this was due largely to causes other than the amount of grazing land available. The rights of proprietors in this matter are limited by the powers exercisable by the Board of Agriculture for Scotland under Regulation 2 M of the Defence of the Realm Regulations, and will be limited by Part IV. of the Corn Production Act, 1917, when this comes into force.
Are we to understand that the Board of Agriculture has the same power in regard to grazing which they had during the War?