§ 50. Colonel Sir ARTHUR HOLBROOK
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the alleged discovery by a Frenchman, M. Tonnelier, of a cure for foot-and-mouth disease; and whether he will consider a relaxation of the ban and postpone the slaughter of affected animals in this country in order that tests may be made of the method of treatment for curing the disease?
I have seen in the Press reports of this alleged discovery. Our policy of slaughter has been in force for many years and has been endorsed by various departmental committees who have considered the question. I cannot consider relaxing it merely on the ground of the discovery of an alleged cure for foot-and-mouth disease. We have been in communication with the French Ministry of Agriculture on the subject of the alleged discovery of M. Tonnelier. Their attention had not previously been drawn to the matter, but the chief veterinary officer to the French Ministry of Agriculture has promised to inform us if M. Tonnelier's claims are substantiated.
§ Sir A. HOLBROOK
When the right hon. Gentleman gets information that the cure is likely to lead to good effects, will it not be desirable to isolate a few infected animals in order to test it?
I do not think that it will be justifiable to test the cure in that way. If we obtain strong evidence that this treatment was an effective preventive, then the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Committee would no doubt consider the question of testing it.