HL Deb 23 July 1930 vol 78 cc762-78

THE EARL OF HAREWOOD rose to ask His Majesty's Government if they have investigated the position of the Royal Veterinary College and what steps they are prepared to take to maintain it; and to move for Papers. The noble Earl said: My Lords, I would not have ventured to trespass upon your time on this the first occasion that I have done so, with so short an experience in your Lordships' House, but for the fact that the Royal Veterinary College, to the affairs of which I wish to call the attention of the Government, has reached a stage in its career where some action must be taken within the next few weeks if the Governors are to be prevented from taking the preliminary steps which will eventually lead to the closing of that College; that is to say, the refusal to accept new students. The troubles which have attacked that College come under two headings. The first one is that the expenditure exceeds the income of the College, and the second one, which is even more grave, is that the buildings are in an irreparable state of disrepair. The annual deficit is, indeed, a diminishing one, owing to the fact that the students' fees are increasing year by year, and to the even more interesting fact that the subscriptions from private persons throughout the country are bringing in a larger income also year by year—both of which facts show that the work of the College is appreciated by those to serve whom it exists.

The matter of the buildings, however, is one which can but get worse as time goes on, and with that in view the Governors of the College launched an appeal to the public in order to establish a building fund. That appeal was most ably and energetically backed, not only by the late Principal of the College, Professor Sir John McFadyean, but also by the present Principal, Professor Hobday, whose name, as your Lordships know, is one to conjure with wherever animal lovers exist. That appeal reached, I think I may venture to say, every quarter from which a subscription might be expected towards the object for which the Veterinary College exists, whether it be the great breeder with his pedigree cattle, whether it be the small farmer with his score of acres of grass land, whether it be the sportsman with his dogs and with his horses, or whether it be the old lady with a cat beside her hearth. Every class to which I refer has made a generous subscription to the best of its ability to the fund which the Governors have raised. That fund has reached during the last three years the sum of approximately £30,000, a, sum which I think is by no means negligible, when we consider that the chief source from which we could expect to receive it is that of agriculture, which has been depressed for so long.

The Governors at the same time appealed for advice from the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, and during the time of the late Government a Departmental Committee was appointed, which reported on August 8 last year, that is to say, eleven and a half months ago. The recommendations of that Departmental Committee were, first and foremost, that the Governors should purchase the freehold of the land in Camden Town upon which the College buildings are built for a sum which they estimated at £20,000; secondly, that a sum of £280,000 should be expended upon that site in erecting new buildings; thirdly, that a sum of £25,000 should be expended on a site outside London, and not definitely selected, for the purpose of a research laboratory, which would be affiliated to the College; and fourthly, that the annual income of the College should be guaranteed at a sum not less than £21,000 a year. To that guarantee they attached the following sentence: "It would be unwise to embark on the erection of new buildings unless such additional income were in sight."

Those are the recommendations, which amount in their total to a sum of £325,000 in capital, and of £21,000 a year. The Report was, as I have said, in the hands of His Majesty's Ministers on August 8 last year, and during the last eleven and a half months it appears that a process of incubation has taken place, which has resulted in a letter, which I received by the courtesy of the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, on my return from Yorkshire last night, and upon which I have had very little opportunity to consult the other Governors of the College. I have, however, had the opportunity of seeing the Treasurer of the College and the Chairman of the Governors. The conclusions which have been arrived at by His Majesty's Government and which I hope I may say are not fixed and without hope of being reconsidered, start with a cancelling of the amount of £20,000, the purchase price of the freehold land in Camden Town, and continue to contemplate the building of a large and expensive building upon that site whilst the Governors are only in possession of it as a leasehold. This, I confess, is a matter of policy which I would not further criticise, because it may be sound. But for no reason which I can find out the cost of the buildings has been estimated by His Majesty's Government to be £250,000, instead of £280,000, which the Departmental Committee considered to be the absolute minimum for which adequate buildings could be produced. I should be very doubtful whether £250,000 would be sufficient for the purpose, but on that particular count I confess that I think the Governors would be willing—in fact I am certain that the Governors would be willing—to consider the offer of His Majesty's Government if, that is to say, we had any reasonable prospect of securing the £250,000 to build.

His Majesty's Government make the further offer that in respect of the £30,000 which we have in our possession as a building fund they will make us a present pound per pound, that is to say, a further £30,000. In addition, His Majesty's Government offer £70,000, without the condition of a pound per pound basis. This comes to a sum of £130,000. £130,000 therefore is the only money which the Governors can see their way to handle in the near future. A further offer is made by His Majesty's Government that if and when the sum collected by the Governors reaches a total of £200,000 (that is to say, when we have collected from private sources a further £70,000) His Majesty's Government will recommend that a further grant of £50,000 be made; that is to say, the Governors may then come again to Parliament and petition for the further sum of £50,000.

The whole gist of the question is dependent upon two points. Firstly, have the Governors any prospect of raising the sum of £70,0000 from private sources which would entitle them to petition for the further £50,000, making a total of £250,000 which His Majesty's Government then hold out in prospect? From what I personally know and what I am sure your Lordships know much better than I do of the condition of agriculture at the present moment, I can barely think there is the slightest hope of getting that sum of £70,000. So sure do the Chairman of the Governors and the Treasurer of the College feel on this point that they have informed me this morning that, at the meeting of the Governors which takes place next week, they will recommend that the Governors refuse the offer of His Majesty's Government because there is no hope whatsoever of raising a sufficient sum to rebuild the College. The action which they will have to take immediately on this is to refuse to admit fresh students into the College. The actual closing of the College will take a period of something like four years, because the Governors feel that they are so far committed to the students who are in the College that it would not be fair to close the College before their course in veterinary instruction has been definitely completed.

The calamity which the closing of the Royal Veterinary College would be to agriculture is one which I do not like to picture. We are accustomed when we discuss the question of the prosperity of agriculture to talk very largely in terms of wheat; but I would remind your Lordships that there is another side to agricultural prosperity and that is the breeding and raising of stock Although this very important side of agricultural prosperity is one which is more difficult to kill by political action or inaction, still I cannot imagine any better way of killing the industry of breeding and raising stock than by the dissemination of disease amongst them, and I cannot imagine that any greater risk could be thrown before the farmers of this country of epidemics of disease than by a restriction in the supply of veterinary surgeons.

For those reasons I appeal to His Majesty's Government to reconsider the very limited amount of money which they can see their way at present to allot to the rebuilding of the Royal Veterinary College, and I ask them whether they would not consider it in terms of an annual grant of money such as £80,000 or £90,000 a year for three years, instead of giving just the one lump sum down which, at present, they are prepared to contemplate. The rebuilding of the College will take at least three years if not four, I should imagine, and if His Majesty's Government could see their way to spread a rather larger sum over a term of years, I am perfectly certain that the Governors of the College would be able to reconsider the decision which, as I say, the Chairman of the Governors and the Treasurer are about to recommend them to take, to refuse to accept fresh students into the College from next month. I beg to ask the question which stands in my name on the Paper and to move for Papers.


My Lords, after the admirable speech of the noble Earl, Lord Harewood, I hardly think I need say very much upon the subject of the Veterinary College and veterinary science. I think the noble Earl put the appeal principally upon the tremendous losses inflicted upon the livestock and dairying industries by the spread of disease. But veterinary science appeals very strongly to the whole nation in other ways. Veterinary science is mixed up with the department of public health. It is mixed up with the progress of human pathology, for animal pathology and human pathology have gone hand in hand, as Pasteur and Koch have illustrated. Further than that, the Ministry of Agriculture without the Diseases of Animals Division, which is manned chiefly by students from the Royal Veterinary College would be obliged to cease to exist.

The Report to which the noble Earl called attention was issued as he told us, in 1929. The report that this document gives of the state of affairs at the Veterinary College is really deplorable. The buildings are in bad repair. They have come to that state of disrepair when they deteriorate rapidly. The accommodation for the students is most inadequate, and all the fittings and apparatus for veterinary research are not up to date or of real public utility. That Report does not stand alone. There was a report from the Colonial Veterinary Committee, which said: "We were dismayed at what we saw at the Veterinary College." And that is its position, as everybody knows. It is literally a disgrace to this country that the Veterinary College should be allowed to pass into extinction. At Berlin the annual sum paid for veterinary science is £280,000. Here, I do not know whether the noble Earl knows the amount, I am afraid I do not but I expect it is under £20,000 a year; I am told it is £16,000 a year. That is all they get, and the work they do for it is, as I have said, of the utmost value not only to the owners of livestock and those who are engaged in the dairying industries, but in public health, in medical research and generally throughout the country.

There is one other thing I may mention. The Veterinary College has a chance of becoming affiliated as one of the schools of the University of London. That is a new departure which, I think, would be of inestimable value to both the teachers and the pupils in veterinary science and, therefore, to the nation at large. To be brought into contact with that great, growing and active University would break down the isolation in which the veterinary profession has hitherto been living, it would raise the standard of efficiency in scientific research, and it would give a new and much better status to the veterinary students when they passed out into the world as veterinary surgeons. Those advantages are at this moment at the disposal of the Veterinary College, subject to its finances being in a proper condition and its buildings in proper repair. There is the trouble. The University of London cannot be expected to accept a College as part of their body whose buildings are hopelessly inadequate and hopelessly in disrepair, and whose finances are practically insolvent.

When this question came before me as Minister of Agriculture some twelve years ago, I endeavoured, for the reasons I have given now for the University of London and for some other reasons, to persuade the College to go to Cambridge. I think that on that occasion—I do not know if the noble Earl happens to have the figures by him—the Government did make a generous offer. It was rejected. I am not sure whether the Governors were right or not, but they rejected it, and now, I think they certainly are right, because the University of London has become, since the alterations in its statutes, a body with which the Veterinary College can be linked with the greatest possible advantage. On those grounds I desire to support the noble Earl's appeal to the Government on behalf of veterinary science. I agree in some respects that their offer is a good one, because they are giving not pound for pound but thirty shillings per pound—I think it works out at that. In all the circumstances, and having regard to the want of money in the industry to which the College administers, I appeal to the Government to make a more generous offer, one which will enable the Veterinary College to carry on and not gradually close its doors.


My Lords, I think all of us who are interested in this subject, no matter how depressed we may have felt at some of the words which came from the noble Earl, Lord Harewood, will be very grateful to him for having raised a subject of such vital concern to the industry of agriculture as that of the existing state of the Royal Veterinary College. I could not help feeling perhaps just a little disappointed at the manner in which the noble Earl spoke of the offer of His Majesty's Government, and I do hope—I know he has this question very much at heart, and most certainly will not take any hasty action—that he will reconsider this question very seriously with his friends before they decide to take the action that he has suggested.

Let us for a moment, before discussing the actual offer, consider the history of this question. The noble Earl, Lord Harewood, has already to a certain extent discussed it, but I am sure your Lordships would not mind my covering some of the same ground, because it has a somewhat long and complicated history. I think it was in 1918 when the first discussion took place with the noble Lord, Lord Ernle, as Minister of Agriculture, and at that time, as he said, it was suggested the College might perhaps be taken to Cambridge. The sum that was then mentioned as being the appropriate as3istance to give to the College was round about £100,000, but no definite figure, I understand, was ever decided upon. That proposal fell through. Then, in 1926, the subject came up again, and the Government of that day—the last Government—made an offer of £35,000 on the basis of pound per pound, and it was in response to that appeal, I think, that the first £20,000 was raised. That is now nearly four years ago. As the noble Earl has already said, that sum has risen by small amounts since then to £30,000.

The response to that appeal was obviously not sufficient to entitle the Governors to go on with re-building, and they considered then that the time had come—I think they decided this in agreement with His Majesty's Government—for a thorough revision of the whole policy in connection with the Royal Veterinary College, and a very strong Departmental Committee was appointed, with Sir Charles Martin as Chairman. The noble Earl has already told the House what the Committee reported. They reported in favour of rebuilding on completely new lines, and a reorganisation of the education facilities, and also in favour of a completely new constitution. His Majesty's Government had that Report last August. The offer that they then made to the Governors of the College was that they would give them pound for pound up to £100,000, but the Governors of the College felt—whether that was a reasonable offer or not—that they would not be able to collect sufficient money to make up the amount of £280,000, though our advisers said that £250,000 would probably be sufficient.

What now is the position of His Majesty's Government? The noble Earl says that he feels that their offer is quite insufficient to enable the Governors to carry on with their work, and that they will virtually have to close down the College. I take it that what the noble Earl would like would be that His Majesty's Government should come forward and say that they will take over the College completely, rebuild it at the expense of the State, and provide all the maintenance expenses, or virtually all the necessary maintenance expenses. I would suggest to your Lordships that that is an entirely new principle that the noble Earl has suggested as to the relations between the State and what amounts to a University Department. Hitherto the State has held to the policy that education of University rank should be aided by Government grants, but that the Government do not take the responsi- bility for maintenance, which is primarily a matter for the governing body. I suggest to your Lordships that that is a principle with which the very much cherished autonomy of Universities is closely bound up. The Government cannot accept the view that entire responsibility for veterinary education alone should ultimately fall upon the State. Obviously such a view, if we once admitted it, could not be confined to a particular form of University education, or to some chosen institution, and it is fundamentally inconsistent with the principle of University autonomy.

I venture to suggest to your Lordships that such a view would be most resented in the academic world. Hitherto the rule has been that we have made annual grants to these institutions and that on capital expenditure we have been prepared to grant pound for pound. In certain cases we have granted more for research, but never on any occasion have we gone beyond pound for pound for educational work. In view of the special circumstances associated with this institution; in view of the state it is now in and the amount of money required for rebuilding it and reconstructing it; in view of the state of the agricultural industry and the comparative poverty of the veterinary profession, we have broken through that principle to the extent that the noble Earl, Lord Harewood, has already mentioned and we have gone up to an offer which amounts to 30s. per pound raised. The noble Earl has already told your Lordships exactly how that offer works out, but perhaps I might repeat it in order that it should be quite clear.

Firstly, we give a grant of £30,000 on the old basis of pound for pound. The original offer was to give £100,000 on the pound for pound basis, but we have gone beyond that to the extent of giving £70,000 without asking the Governors to raise £70,000. That, as the noble Earl told you, gives them £130,000, to which the. Government is contributing £100,000. In addition to that the Government have said that if the Governors make up that sum of £130,000 to £200,000 they will put them in a position to complete the scheme by giving a further grant of £50,000 I do venture to suggest to your Lordships that that really is a most generous offer, and I would suggest to the noble Earl and his friends that they would be very unwise to turn down such an offer in any light spirit. I feel that I ought not to use that phrase, because I know that they are so keen and so enthusiastic over this work that they certainly would not do so, but I certainly hope that they will very carefully reconsider I he question.

After all, it is now three or four years since an appeal was made. On that occasion there was no very clear policy before the Governors on which they could issue the appeal, and there was no very great encouragement at that moment from the Government, who had only offered a maximum grant of £35,000. I suggest to your Lordships that the situation has altered now. Four years have elapsed; there is a most generous offer from the Government which the Governors can put before their anticipated subscribers; and there is a most carefully thought out policy laid before us by the inter-Departmental Committee which reported last year. With that change of circumstance I would appeal to the noble Lord to consider making an attempt at this appeal for £70,000.

None of us want to see the Royal Veterinary College closed down. We all know the immense work it has done for the industry and the immense work we look to it to do for the industry in future. It is not our business to tell the Governors how to make their appeal. There are, however, certain large resources which, I will not say have not been tapped because the appeal last time was made with great energy, but which remained comparatively untapped. We all know the agricultural industry at present, at any rate in certain departments, is in a state of great depression, but even in the industry itself there are a large number of pedigree breeders who can be appealed to. You have the whole bunting world to appeal to and the whole racing world. You have got the "Tote" Board now, and they might even be appealed to.


Please do not give this list to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


No, I do not want to get into trouble. Then you have the lovers of small animals in this country and that should be a very large field to appeal to. I feel, as I have said before, that before the noble Earl says "Die" he should earnestly consider whether it is not possible to tap these sources of subscription. I can certainly assure the noble Earl not only in my own name but in the name of His Majesty's Government, that if he and his friends do make a decision to go ahead they will have all the assistance and all the encouragement that the Ministry of Agriculture and His Majesty's Government can give.


My Lords, I cannot help feeling a little disappointed with the noble Earl opposite. I should have thought that having so recently moved into his present office, he would have felt this an opportunity for what is known as "solemnising the occasion"—and not in water. He has hardly passed round the loving cup to-day-—possibly cigarettes. The gist of this matter is not that £100,000 or £130,000 is not a very generous contribution from the Government. The gist of the matter is that the farming community and the community related to it have not the money they had in 1918. £30,000 to-day is more difficult to raise than £300,000 would have been in the farming community in 1918, and no one is better aware of that than the noble Earl. If we consider another Bill, he is prepared to go into questions of subsidies for the drainage of land running into millions. I venture to suggest to him, therefore, that some of the money that he has at his disposal could be more prudently dealt with by the addition of a not very large sum to the endowment of the Royal Veterinary College or to the capital sum required for building.

I am not authorised to speak for that College, but I am Chairman of the subcommittee of a Committee set up by the Government to deal with that humble animal, the pig. I am on the veterinary committee that deals with that subject and I have been urged to fire into the Government a Report saying that the one thing that the pig and pig-owners require is a great deal more veterinary research. It is not a hit of use my firing in that Report unless there are veterinary experts adequate to use the results of the research and to benefit by the discoveries. You must have the men, otherwise the know- ledge is of no use. The noble Earl, Lord Harewood, has told us that we shall not have them; and this in an industry that has a turnover of something like £100,000,000 a year, or rather more. Surely the sums which the Government are asked for are, in relation to that industry, uncommonly small. I beg the noble Earl to consider again whether some of those millions that he is prepared to lavish on draining the Thames could not be more profitably spent in keeping the Veterinary College alive.


My Lords, I should not have ventured to trouble your Lordships even for a few moments were it not that 1, in common, I doubt not, with many members of your Lordships' House have from time to time experienced the great services that are rendered by the Royal Veterinary College. I have sent horses to them which were supposed to be almost hopelessly injured, and in one case, at any rate, after a horse was treated by the Veterinary College it won two or three point-to-point races. The benefits conferred by the College upon the farming community and all those interested in stock-breeding and horse-breeding are well-known. We have heard great tributes paid to the College from the noble Earl, Lord Harewood, from Lord Ernie, who saw a great deal of its work while Minister of Agriculture, and from the noble Earl himself. If that is so, surely it would be lamentable if a great institution of this sort were to lapse for want of what is relatively an exceedingly small sum.

What do the Government propose to do? They propose to give £150,000 in all, if the Veterinary College will find £100,000, and they also propose to give a small contribution to the upkeep every year. The position is that the College cannot raise £100;000. They have done their best, but in the present condition of agriculture it is impossible. The Government say that they will not go beyond £150,000. If that is their ultimate limit, I am afraid we shall see the disaster of the closing down of this College. I should like, if I may, to reinforce the appeal that has been made by my noble friend who has just spoken and to ask the Government if they cannot use some of this money which is being lavished in millions on many undertakings which many people think useless, rather than suffer the national misfortune of this College coming to an end. They are prepared to spend some hundreds of millions on making roads which are in many cases not only useless but dangerous, which are in no way of benefit to agriculture and are very dangerous to agricultural horses which pass along them. The construction of these roads in rural districts involves the farmers in paying higher rates than they would pay if the roads were not made.

Let me make an appeal to the noble Earl to go to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who we know is exceedingly easy of access and so reasonable that I am sure that, under the eloquence of the noble Earl, he will accede to any proposal of a reasonable character. Let the noble Earl say to him: "Will you kindly save a little money from this unnecessary expenditure, such as the drainage of land, on which millions may be spent without much good, and from making these useless racing tracks throughout the country?" An extra £100,000 would keep the College going. Since we are told by Lord Ernie that the sum spent in Berlin upon veterinary research, to help a veterinary institution, is no less than £280,000 a year, as compared with the very small sum of £66,000 which this Government gives for research, I am sure the noble Earl will be able to convince the Chancellor of the Exchequer and persuade him to give a more liberal contribution to what is really a national necessity.


My Lords, may I add one word, as one of the Governors of the Royal Veterinary College? I think one small point has been somewhat overlooked, and it is one which, I think, should appeal to the Government and make them take a kinder view regarding the money that they are willing to offer to the College. I refer to the enormous field that is open to young men in our overseas Possessions. Any number of young men, if they have the advantage of the great knowledge of the Veterinary College, are sure, if they go abroad to be able to get on. You will find that more and more men will be wanted as soon as it has been found what a great advantage it is to have a good veterinary surgeon in the neighbourhood. The local veterinary surgeon has improved enormously during the last few years, thanks, I think, to the College.

Another point is that the College wants a still better class of men. They ought to have University men who can join in research for the curing of disease, and in such complicated investigations as we have seen in the work done as the result of the Field distemper fund. You want a very high class of man to go into this research. There are any number of other kinds of diseases of animals into which researches are necessary. This is really not only a question of agriculture, but a national question. It is important that London should have its wellendowed Veterinary College from which to send our young men out all over the world. I hope the Government will consider that point when the question comes up again.


My Lords, may I confirm what the noble Lord who spoke last has said with regard to the class of young men that is wanted as veterinary surgeons? I have just come back from living in America for several years. A very large business is done with this country, not only in America but in several other countries, in pedigree dogs. The class of veterinary surgeon practising in America to-day is far superior to that which one finds as a rule in England, but a great many disorders come to America from England that they have not been able to cope with, and I think that, if you allow the Royal Veterinary College to pass out of existence, you will be doing very serious harm to the large class in England that supplies dogs and animals of that sort, which require an enormous amount of medical attention. In England this is becoming a bigger industry every day, and other countries look to us to provide proper veterinary work in connection with it. I think you will find that a great many well-trained Englishmen could go out to foreign countries and take up the veterinary profession with great success and be a great help to other countries. I hope the Government will see their way to help the College in every possible manner.


My Lords, a very interesting debate has taken place, and the noble Earl opposite has done from his own point of view his best by suggesting that we should get money by taxing the breeders of small animals.


By making an appeal to them.


I have bred in my time most small animals, from canaries to carthorses. I think an appeal might be made, but it would not be sufficient to find the money needed. I know the difficulty of this or any Government finding money for any purposes, but I am sure that if the noble Earl will report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer the suggestions made on this side of the House, and particularly the remarks of the last two speakers as to the importance of veterinary education to those going out to the Colonies, something might be done. At the same time, I want to make an appeal to Lord Hare-wood that he and his fellow Governors should not hastily close down the College. It is true that they have not got out of the Government all that they want. Whoever does get all they want out of any Government? It would be a very remarkable thing if this particular College got all it hoped for or wanted out of this or any other Government.


The reason that we have to settle so soon is that the new entry of students comes in October, and so we have to settle before October 1. If we do not settle, and the new entry comes forward, we shall have to keep the new lot for another four years.


I quite understand that that is a difficulty, but speaking as one interested in veterinary science and one who appreciates the necessity of efficient veterinary surgeons, I want to make an appeal. I am not saying that the Government have done all that they could, and I hope that the Government will reconsider the amount which they propose to give, but at the same time, while that reconsideration is going on, I want to suggest to my noble friends that it would be a very serious step indeed to bring this great work to a conclusion. I hope that they will take in the new entry in October, so that the supply of veterinary surgeons will not be stopped and that we and our Dominions may not in a few years time find that the supply has petered out. It is not for me to suggest to the Governors of a great institution like this what they ought to do, but I make an appeal to them, considering the result of this debate, to realise that they have been supported by the House generally, and not be too quick in bringing an end to this important institution.


It is only with your Lordships permission that I can say anything more, but I may perhaps be allowed to make this suggestion. It is impossible to have listened to the debate without being impressed by the feeling of the House. While I am afraid that I cannot hold out any hope at all of any reconsideration of the offer which we have made, because we have already got the Treasury to break its principle (and noble Lords who have been in Governments will know what that means), if the noble Lord and his friends would come and have a conference with the Ministry on the details of the offer, and also have a discussion on the possibility of an appeal before taking any decision, we would be at his disposal at any time in the near future, before the Governors meet.


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Earl opposite for the conciliatory manner in which he has treated the remarks that I have made, and which I hope he does not think were intended as an attack upon his particular Government, but purely in the interests of the College. In that regard he did suggest that we should appeal to the sportsmen of this country, and he mentioned the "Tote" Board, and racing people. I can only believe the noble Earl has not lived much in those circles if he thinks much profit is to be got out of the "Tote" Board, or racing people, at the present time. If he has looked at the prices fetched by yearlings, mares and other thoroughbred stock sold since last December, he will be surprised to see the difference between the prices now and those which ruled two years ago. Money does not exist in these circles, and it is useless to pretend that we can get it out of them. I am afraid that the same remark applies to hunting circles. As to agricultural circles, it is useless to pretend that they are prosperous, and that is the reason why we are in the great difficulty which we have put before the Government. I will, however, see the Treasurer and the Chairman of the Governors before their next meeting, and I will attempt to persuade them to take in at any rate one further lot of young students, if I may hold out to them that the Government will see us through the absolute expense necessary for carrying on the course for the next year or two. I beg leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motion for Papers, by leave, withdrawn.