§ LORD RIBBLESDALE
, in rising to call attention to an undertaking entered into by Her Majesty's Government with a view to encourage horse breeding in Ireland; and to ask, Whether any similar action was contemplated by them to apply to England and Scotland? said, that all the evidence which could possibly be got had been obtained on the subject; 400 or 500 printed circulars had been sent out to horsebreeders in England, Scotland, and Wales, with the result that about 300 had been answered. The evidence collected had been carefully sifted, Mr. Goschen had accepted the general principle of the suggestions made, and an undertaking had been, given that the House of Commons 1065 should be asked for a sum of money amounting to £5,000 to be devoted to the purpose in Ireland, of which £3,200 was for stallions, and the balance for bulls. What they now wanted was that an annual grant should be given to England, Scotland, and Wales, which would give a certain amount of money to be invested in a responsible body which would administer it for the encouragement of horse breeding. He was pleased that the Government had taken this action with regard to Ireland; but, while they fully recognized the excellence of Ireland and the genius of her people for horse breeding, he felt strongly that something ought to be done for England, Scotland, and Wales, where agriculture was quite as much depressed as in Ireland, though the people did not take the same means of bringing their condition before the public. He hoped very much that something in the direction of putting real, good, sound blood within easy reach of the tenant farmer in England, Scotland, and Wales, was contemplated out of the public funds.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (The Marquess of SALISBURY)
In answer to the noble Lord, I have to say that the matter has been under the consideration of the Government, who desire to help it on as much as possible, and who recognize its importance fully. The mode in which the funds which the noble Lord asks for will be furnished is this—In the first place, Queen's Plates, by consent of Her Majesty, will henceforth be devoted to the object of improving the breed of horses, and this will represent a contribution of £3,000 a-year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer also proposes to put in the Estimates a further sum making up an amount of £5,000 for the same purpose. The Government propose further, following the precedent set in Ireland, to assign the administration of the fund to an independent trust, of which my noble Friend the Master of the Horse (the Duke of Portland) will be a member. I hope that this mode of solving the difficulty which the Government have decided on will meet with the approval of the noble Lord.
§ LORD RIBBLESDALE
said, that what had been stated by the noble Marquess fully met all his views.