§ 11. Mr. HANNON
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that on the management of the Pirbright cattle-testing station a loss was incurred in 1922–23 of £1,778 on total outgoings, including interest on capital of £3,081; whether he can give the figures for the year 1923–24; and whether there is any hope of this station becoming self-supporting?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Noel Buxton)
I am aware that a loss of £1,778 occurred in 1922–23 on the working of the cattle-testing station at Pirbright. The charge for interest on capital however was £1,254 and not £3,061 as stated in the question. I regret that the figures for 1923–24 are not yet available. With regard to the last part, I may explain that in view of the falling off in the pedigree cattle trade between this country and South Africa, to which the loss in question is due, the Ministry decided to close the station as from the 31st March last.
§ 12. Mr. HANNON
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can state the cause to which he attributes the heavy loss in 1922–23 in connection with the farming operations at the Pirbright cattle-testing stations, amounting to £642 on a total outlay of a little over £1,500; and whether he can give the figures for 1923–24?
§ Mr. BUXTON
The actual loss on the farming operations is £358, excluding interest on capital and headquarters' administrative expenses. The farm in question was being managed for the purposes of the cattle-testing station, and with the shortage of stock at the station had lost much of its usual outlet. In addition, it will be remembered that the period in question was a very difficult one for farmers.
§ Mr. BUXTON
The whole of the stations are now devoted to research in connection with foot-and-mouth disease.