§ 58. Sir Waldron Smithers
asked the Minister of Agriculture how many steeplechase racehorse geldings there are in training; and what quantity of hay and oats it requires to keep them for one year?
Training for steeple-chasing normally starts towards the end of August. Until the Government decides whether steeplechasing is to be continued next winter, I am unable to say how many geldings will be put into training for this form of horse-racing. The second part of the Question does not, therefore, arise.
§ Sir W. Smithers
Does the Minister not realise that though geldings have to be raced during the winter, the trouble is that they have to be fed and kept now; while fodder for the production of milk and eggs has been rationed and herds have been reduced, is it not criminal that it should be used for these animals?
As I have already pointed out, training for steeplechasing does not start until the end of the month, and a decision as to whether horses should be put in training for steeplechasing has yet to be taken by the Government. The total of oats or other cereals consumed by the geldings would be about 750 tons during the whole season. It is a mere fleabite.