HC Deb 30 March 1961 vol 637 cc1527-8
58. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the rabbit clearance societies is organised as co-operatives.

Mr. Vane

All but one of the societies are registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies' Acts. The arrangements for registration are co-ordinated in England by the Agricultural Central Co-operative Association and in Wales by the Welsh Agricultural Organisation Society.

Mr. de Freitas

Will the Joint Parliamentary Secretary take the opportunity now, which he did not take last week, to give full credit to the Agricultural Central Co-operative Association for the work it has done in this scheme?

Mr. Vane

I do so willingly. I think that the answer I have given to the hon. Gentleman does give full credit where that credit is due.

Mr. Gaitskell

In order to assist those who are not so expert, could the hon. Gentleman say what a rabbit clearance society is?

Mr. Vane

It is an organisation of interested parties, sponsored by my right hon. Friend, to ensure that the small population of rabbits in this country does not increase again so as to become a serious menace to agriculture.