HC Deb 03 December 1953 vol 521 cc1292-4
6. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Minister of Agriculture the nature of the ailment on account of which it was decided that the horse "Gay Time" was not suitable to be kept as a stallion at the National Stud.

Sir T. Dugdale

"Gay Time" developed an obstruction in the throat which seriously reduced his intake of air when galloping and made him unfit to race. The veterinary surgeons who examined the horse did not consider that the symptoms were those commonly associated with laryngeal paralysis, namely, whistling or roaring.

Mr. Johnson

Does my right hon. Friend think that there is a ready market in Japan for horses which have gone in the wind, and, if so, will he make that known to owners of such horses?

Sir T. Dugdale

I do not think that that arises. The veterinary report was made available to the Japanese Government, and it did say that the stallion was suitable for breeding.

Mr. Bence

Can the Minister give the House an assurance that this stallion had not been eating caponised cockerels?

7. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Minister of Agriculture the position in regard to the free nomination to "Gay Time," on his retirement to the stud, which was given to the horse's previous owner as one of the conditions of his sale to the National Stud.

Sir T. Dugdale

I am communicating with the previous owner on this matter and will let the hon. Member know the position in due course.

8. Mr. Crouch

asked the Minister of Agriculture the contents of the veterinary report on "Gay Time" before conclusion of the purchase by the National Stud.

Sir T. Dugdale

The veterinary surgeon who examined "Gay Time" shortly before the purchase found him to be sound for racing.

9. Mr. Crouch

asked the Minister of Agriculture what bodies the National Stud consulted before paying £50,000 for "Gay Time"; and before selling him for £15,000.

Sir T. Dugdale

The decision to purchase "Gay Time" was taken after consultation with a small informal committee appointed to advise on the selection of stallions for the National Stud. Several prominent breeders, including the members of the committee, were consulted before it was decided to sell the horse.

Mr. Crouch

Is my right hon. Friend completely satisfied with the way in which the advice he receives is given to him? Does he not think that there should be an inquiry into the running of the National Stud?

Sir T. Dugdale

That is an entirely different question. I am absolutely satisfied, as far as this horse is concerned, and, at the end of the day, of course, whoever happened to find himself Minister of Agriculture must be responsible. As my hon. Friend, who takes an interest in this sport, realises, whenever a horse is discussed, many opinions are forthcoming on the subject.

Forward to