HC Deb 01 February 1993 vol 218 c13
24. Mr. Flynn

To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners, what is his latest estimate of the numbers of hectares of land administered by the Church Commissioners.

Mr. Michael Alison (Second Church Estates Commissioner, representing the Church Commissioners)

At 31 December 1992, the commissioners' agricultural portfolio consisted of about 62,000 hectares of mostly let farmland.

Mr. Flynn

Will the right hon. Gentleman persuade the Church Commissioners to re-read the beautiful passages in Isaiah, chapter 11, and Hosea, chapter 2, on the kinship between human kind and the animal kingdom and then to reconsider their policy of allowing the barbaric cruelty of deer hunting, hare coursing and fox hunting on Church Commissioners' land, or is their Christian charity confined to one single species?

Mr. Alison

I shall certainly read the scriptures that the hon. Gentleman prescribes. By going back even earlier in the Old Testament, the hon. Gentleman will recall the earliest provision of all made for derelict human kind after the fall, which was the slaughter of innocent sheep to provide woollen clothing.