HC Deb 02 February 1959 vol 599 cc14-5
21. Sir A. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are his intentions with regard to granting an application, by a group interested in artificial insemination, for permission to import Charollais bulls from France.

Mr. John Hare

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I are reconsidering the question of permitting a limited importation of these bulls for experimental purposes, as I said we would do in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Middleton and Prestwich (Sir J. Barlow) on 5th March last year. We shall shortly be consulting again the breed societies and other interests concerned.

Sir A. Baldwin

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the importation of one or two bulls from the United States of America a year or two ago has resulted in Australia putting a complete ban upon the export of cattle from this country to Australia owing to the disease known as "blue tongue"? Is he aware that the fact that the Government are now entertaining a request by a small body of people for the importation of cattle from France is viewed with dismay by the exporting and livestock industry generally? Finally, will my right hon. Friend hold an inquiry so that people on both sides who are interested can put their cases and a decision can be arrived at after the matter has been debated openly?

Mr. Hare

I have told my hon. Friend that we shall again be consulting the breed societies and other interests concerned, but the French official disease returns show that there is no blue tongue in France.