HC Deb 21 June 1951 vol 489 cc703-4
49. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that certain rural district councils are operating a service for the destruction of rats and mice on agricultural land, which has proved to be more effective and less costly than the service rendered by the agricultural executive committees of the counties concerned; and what steps he. is taking to avoid unnecessary duplication in this work.

Mr. T. Williams

I am aware that a very few rural district councils have started a contract service for rat and mouse destruction on agricultural land, but as this is quite a recent development it cannot yet be said to be more effective and less costly than the service rendered by the county agricultural executive committees. In the particular and isolated cases concerned the councils and the committees have discussed how their services might be adjusted to avoid overlapping.

Mr. Turton

Will the Minister explain why his Department wrote to the Rural District Councils' Association asking them to discourage any competition between district councils and his Depart- ment? Surely what we want to get is a more efficient and less costly service.

Mr. Williams

I agree with the hon. Member, but what we want is co-operation and not competition.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Would the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to express his views to the Minister of Health and the President of the Board of Trade?