HC Deb 15 July 1949 vol 467 cc894-5
Mr. Turton

I beg to move, in page 11, line 30, to leave out from the second "the," to the end of line 31, and to insert: destruction of rats and mice on any land. We want a little clarification from the Parliamentary Secretary as to what he means by these words. It may be that they are left over from the original Bill before it was amended in the House of Lords. It would appear, if these words are left in, that we would be using the services of the pest control committee to deal not only with rats and mice, but with mites and weevils. We should like to know what is the intention of the Government in this matter. I think the right thing to do would be to leave the problem of the food services, Ministry of Food dumps and storage of grain, not to agricultural executive committees, but to the Minister's own officers in each province, and to concentrate on keeping -down rats and mice by the county committees provided in that respect. It may be that the Minister has some reason for wanting these words kept in, rather than our more clear words and, if I move this Amendment in the form of an inquiry, he may give an explanation.

Mr. Baldwin

I beg to second the Amendment.

2.30 p.m.

Mr. G. Brown

The point here is quite a narrow one. We wish to leave subsection (2) wide enough for county agricultural executive committees in any area which are in a position to render assistance in regard to the treatment or prevention of infestation in warehouses, food stores, etc., to be able to render it. We wish to keep the position in this respect in line not only with Part I of the Bill, but also with Part II. This provision does not transfer responsibility from any one to someone else. It simply makes it clear that if a situation exists now or in the future in which a county committee is in a position to render assistance of the kind I have described, the Minister will be in a position to be able to use that assistance.

Mr. Turton

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.