HC Deb 23 February 1927 vol 202 cc1765-6

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether any action has been taken to carry out the recommendation of the Lovat Committee with regard to the training of officers for agricultural departments throughout the Empire?


I presume that my hon. Friend's question refers to the recommendation of the Committee of which Lord Lovat is now chairman concerning the annual award of scholarships to selected candidates who intend to take up appointments in the Agricultural Departments of the non-self-governing Dependencies.

The answer which I gave to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Dartford on the 21st of December, 1925, described the arrangements made to carry out this recommendation, which enable from 16 to 18 scholarships in agriculture and agricultural science to be offered annually. Last year 17 two-year scholarships were awarded, 13 being in general agriculture, two in plant pathology and two in plant-breeding. Sufficient time has not elapsed since the inception of the scheme to test any of the scholars in actual work in a Colony, but the reports which I have received concerning the men under training have been satisfactory. A larger number of candidates of first-rate calibre who have taken honours in the natural sciences is needed for the complete success of the scheme, and it is to be hoped that these will be forthcoming from the universities as the scholarships become more widely known.