HC Deb 13 March 1941 vol 369 cc1421-2
51. Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will make a statement as to the progress of rat destruction?

Mr. Hudson

I am satisfied that the campaign for rat destruction has already met with a considerable measure of success, and I am determined that there shall be no relaxation of effort in this direction in the future.

52. Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

asked the Minister of Agriculture what Government Departments and what categories of authorities, owners, and occupiers are responsible for destruction of rats in Great Britain?

Mr. Hudson

The Government Departments responsible for the administration of powers relating to the destruction of rats in Great Britain are the Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Food, and the Department of Agriculture for Scotland. The authorities vested with powers are certain local authorities, port sanitary authorities, county war agricultural executive committees and food control committees. Under the Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act, 1919. occupiers of land are required to take steps for the destruction of rats on their premises.

Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

Does not my right hon. Friend think that there are too many authorities responsible for the destruction of rats, and is not that one of the reasons why some authorities do their job and others do not, with the result that the rats are increasing by thousands; and will my right hon. Friend consider centralising the destruction of rats under a national campaign?

Mr. Hudson

There is already a national rat campaign going now.