HC Deb 11 July 1932 vol 268 cc896-8
65. Earl of DALKEITH

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, in view of the recent reductions in the horse-breeding grants and the consequent danger of British light-horse breeding receiving a permanent set-back, he can state what steps he is taking to evolve alternative plans for encouraging such breeding?


It is the policy of the Department to purchase as many horses as possible in the United Kingdom. Apart from this, no special steps involving further expenditure can be contemplated.


Does the hon. Gentleman not consider that the small amount previously paid in grants has been well repaid by the improvement in the type of horses for the Army and the increase in the export of horses from this country; and is not the present decision false economy?


Every suggestion for economy which is put forward is always represented to be false economy. This is a real economy, and a saving of money, and, unless we are prepared to carry through economies of this kind, there will be no economy at all.

66. Earl of DALKEITH

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he has any information as to the total amount of money allocated to horse-breeding in France, Germany, and Italy during the past three years, either by way of Government grants, totalisator profit percentages, or other semi-official sources?


I regret that I have no complete information, but I am informed that Italy makes an annual grant to horse-Breeding of lire 2,000,000 for mules and lire 1,000,000 for horses; that in France there is State assistance; and that the various States of Germany grant subsidies.


Does not the Minister realise that almost every large country in Europe is able to supply very large sums of money for horse-breeding, and that, if this country is the only one which is not doing so, it is likely to lose its pre-eminence in this line of business?


This country is also the only country which is balancing its Budget this year.

75. The Earl of DALKEITH

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it was upon his initiative that the Government grants-in-aid of horse-breeding have been reduced, or whether the suggestions for the recent reductions in such grants have originated from the Departments administering them?


The decision to discontinue the light horse-breeding subsidy was taken by His Majesty's Government following upon the recommendation of the Committee on National Expenditure.