HC Deb 23 March 1922 vol 152 cc672-3
73. Mr. CAIRNS

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is satisfied that the Canadian and other countries' cattle are free from foot-and-mouth disease; and, if so, why, in these days of 'big prices for meat, he is not in favour of taking the embargo off and allowing the free importation of cattle into this country, and thus reducing the cost of living?

The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Sir Arthur Boscawen)

While I am satisfied that foot-and-mouth disease does not at present exist in Canada, it is known to be prevalent in other countries. As regards the second part of the question, I cannot agree that the free importation of store cattle from Canada would reduce appreciably the cost of living, and I would remind the hon. Member that the Royal Commission which considered the question last year were of the same opinion.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman believe in the law of supply and demand?


Yes, but if you get in store cattle from Canada you would have less stores bred in this country.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

Is it not in accordance with precedent that the Report of a Royal Commission should be discussed in this House, and when will the Government allow this House to discuss this Report?


I am quite willing that there should be a discussion, but that is a question which ought to be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

If the importation of these cattle is not going to lower the price of meat, how is it going to help the farmer, which is the excuse given by the right hon. Gentleman?


This is developing into a debate.