§ 70. Sir R. THOMAS
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has had any further information from the Dutch veterinary authorities regarding an alleged cure fur foot-and-mouth disease, which was brought to his notice last Session; and, if so, whether he will lay the particulars before this House?
Inquiries have been made of the Netherlands Department of Agriculture as to the results of tests of this preparation. Earlier tests did not show that the preparation has a preventive effect against foot-and-mouth disease, but the Ministry has asked to be informed of any matters of interest which may arise as a result of any further trials.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
May I ask the Minister once again whether he will consider the question of the Government offering a really substantial reward for a definite cure, for a definite preventive serum for foot-and-mouth disease?
As my hon. Friend is aware, we are working on this problem through the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Committee, and it is very doubtful whether the proclamation of a reward would do anything to stimulate that scientific research by which alone a cure can be found.
§ Sir R. THOMAS
Can the Minister say whether the officials engaged on this research work have inspected the experiments which have been made in Holland?
§ Sir R. THOMAS
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of sending experts over there to investigate?
We have had so many of these alleged preventions that it would be quite impossible for the staff of the Ministry, without a great deal of incon- 1922 venience, to hold themselves at the disposal of foreign departments who may carry out tests with supposed cures.
§ Sir R. THOMAS
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that this is not a supposed cure, but that it is stated in Holland that it is a definite cure?
That is not the information which we have received from the Netherlands Department of Agriculture.
§ 72. Mr. ALFRED WILLIAMS
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can give any further information as to the origin of the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease near Plymouth?
I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on the 10th November to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tavistock (Brigadier-General Wright), to which I have nothing to add.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a very strong opinion in the district that this case was caused by swill from the barracks, and is there any ground for that opinion?
There is ground for the belief that it may have been caused by this swill, and we are considering the question of prosecuting the farmer who disobeyed the Regulations of the Ministry and neglected to boil the swill.
The contract meat supplied to the Army and Navy comes entirely from Empire sources, where there is no question of foot-and-mouth disease.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
On a point of Order. The right hon. Gentleman is telling us what is not true. I challenge the statement made by the Minister that this meat comes from the Dominions, because the Government changed it from Australia to the Argentine. [HON. MEMBERS: "You are wrong!"] I am not wrong at all.