§ 31. Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the present number of heavy horses in use on farms in this country; what is the present position with regard to the existing and potential export trade in heavy horses; and his estimate of the amount of oil fuel and capital equipment saved by using heavy horses on farms in this country.
The total number of horses being used for agricultural purposes in England and Wales on 4th June, 1956, was 104,973, but I cannot say how many of these were heavy horses. The export trade in heavy horses is negligible and there is no likelihood of an increase. I am unable to provide the estimate asked for in the third part of the Question because the great differences in the sizes 567 and types of farms in this country and the wide range of tractors now available would introduce too many variables into the calculation.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport
Is it not tragic to allow the heavy horse population of this country to decline merely because my right hon. Friend's Department or the Treasury wish to economise to the extent of something under £1,000 a year?
The governing factor in this situation is one of economics and not the attitude of the Treasury.