HL Deb 26 July 1937 vol 106 cc981-96

Amendments reported (according to Order).

Title: An Act to assist farmers to increase the fertility of their land; to provide against heavy financial loss by farmers in respect of their crops of oats and barley, and to raise the limit of the quantity of wheat in respect of which deficiency payments under the Wheat Act, 1932, may be made at the full rate; to make further grants for land drainage; to promote the eradication of diseases of animals and poultry, and with that object to establish a national service of veterinary inspectors; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.


My Lords, there is a manuscript Amendment in the name of Lord Hastings.

LORD HASTINGS moved to omit "against heavy financial loss by farmers in respect of their crops" and insert "for securing farmers against any substantial fall in the price." The noble Lord said: My Lords, in Committee an Amendment in the title was inserted which has not been printed in the Bill, inasmuch as the Bill has not been reprinted. My right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, who is aware that certain words were accepted here in Committee, had certain alternative words which he submitted lo me as being in his view slightly preferable to those inserted in Committee. I was able to meet him, and I am glad now to move this alteration in the title in those alternative words.

Amendment moved— Leave out ("against heavy financial loss by farmers in respect of their crops") and insert ("for securing farmers against any substantial fall in the price").—(Lord Hastings.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 6:

Subsidy payments in respect of land under oats or barley.

(2) If the qualifying acreage of land under oats or under barley in the year nineteen hundred and thirty-eight or any of the following three years exceeds the standard acreage, the rate at which any subsidy payment may be made in respect of any land by reason of its having been under oats or under barley, as the case may be, in that year shall, subject to the following provisions of this part of this Act, be a rate bearing to the rate determined by the preceding sub-section the same proportion as the standard acreage bears to the qualifying acreage of land under oats or under barley, as the case may be, in that year; and if the rate determined by the preceding provisions of this subsection is not an exact multiple of a penny, the odd fraction of a penny shall be disregarded.

In this subsection the expression "the standard acreage," in relation to oats or in relation to barley, means such acreage as the Ministers may by order declare to be the number of acres arrived at by multiplying by eleven-tenths the qualifying acreage of land under oats or under barley, as the case may be, in the year nineteen hundred and thirty-seven.

LORD HASTINGS moved, in subsection (2), to leave out "or under barley," where those words first occur. The noble Lord said: My Lords, in Committee I pressed upon the Government the unreasonableness of limiting the acreage of barley in view of the fact that our importations of barley into this country are on a very great scale. The Bill provides for a standard acreage and a qualifying acreage, and I think it is quite true to say there is nothing in this Bill which prevents farmers from growing as much barley as they please, yet there is a definite inference that an over-production of barley is possible. I maintain that in view of these importations an overproduction of barley in this country is impossible. The noble Earl, Lord Feversham, on Second Reading committed himself to a statement in respect of production of barley which I felt bound to challenge. The noble Earl himself was good enough to substantiate my own figures and in fact to extend them by quoting in Committee the very large figures which are now current for barley importations.

In so far as that particular point is concerned, I feel that the noble Earl will be of opinion that really his ammunition is exhausted and that there is nothing for it but to hoist the white flag in that connection. We return therefore to the financial issue. It is, of course, accepted that the Treasury must be safeguarded against any unlimited expenditure in respect of the assistance which this Bill proposes to give. That would be granted by any reasonable man, but I still am of opinion that any standardisation of acreage is not only undesirable but in this matter quite unnecessary. The noble Earl, Lord Feversham, told the House that it was estimated that there might be as much as 300,000 acres of barley eligible for this assistance. I am of opinion that the actual acreage will be infinitely less. But the noble Earl is entitled to his opinion as I am to mine. None the less the noble Earl went on to tell us that the total production of barley is getting on for 900,000 acres of that commodity, so that the quantity which he would expect to become eligible in this year for this assistance would, on his own showing, be not more than one-third of the total production of the crop.

The Bill contains provision that the standard acreage shall be eleven-tenths of the present acreage—that is, plus one-tenth of what it is now. The acreage which the Ministry of Agriculture expect may, in certain circumstances which I believe to be exceedingly remote, be reached is 300,000—that is, something less than four-tenths. There is a margin between the acreage which they expect may be eligible and the total acreage of barley of not less than two-thirds. As no one would suggest for one moment that anything approaching the whole acreage under barley could during the continuance of the wheat subsidy become eligible for assistance, I maintain that this standardisation so far as barley is concerned is wholly unnecessary because the Treasury is already safeguarded by a two-thirds margin. So I am endeavouring by this Amendment and sundry consequential Amendments which I have put on the Paper to take this standardisation of barley acreage out of the Bill. It may be said with a certain truth that this is an academic point, but it is undesirable that the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government and this House and the other House should be committed to anything which could be interpreted as an opinion that barley production should be limited and should not exceed a standard acreage. I have nothing to add to the point and I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 5, line 30, leave out ("or under barley").—(Lord Hastings.)


My Lords, my noble friend Lord Hastings said curing the Committee stage and now that it could not be undesirable to increase the production of British barley so long as our imports remained at their present figure. The noble Lord was good enough to refer to figures I gave him. He said that they substantiated the case he made out. The noble Lord has intimated that the Government have no further ammunition with regard to the answer made to him on this point, but I would say that in considering the question of imports of feeding barley—and this Bill is designed to give assistance to those persons who grow feeding barley and not malting barley—you must bear in mind the paramount need not to contemplate raising the price of an important feeding stuff to the livestock producer. As the noble Lord is well aware, prices of feeding stuffs are already high and my knowledge is that the livestock producer would by no means welcome any further increase. Yet, prices would rise if imports were restricted. Imports keep pace with demand and the increase in imports from 15,000,000 cwt. to 18,000,000 cwt. in recent years has been largely due to the increase in our pig population. Too large a production of barley at home would soon bring about over-supply, and consequently lower prices, unless there were a corresponding reduction in imports. But an increasing proportion of barley imports, as the noble Lord will be aware, comes from the Empire, and it is not possible to impose any duty on those supplies. Foreign supplies are subject to the general ad valorem duty of 10 per cent. and, as I have suggested to the noble Lord, any increase in this duty on feeding barley has been consistently opposed by a great body of agricultural opinion in England and Wales. It is of that general consideration that I would wish the noble Lord to take cognisance.

But the noble Lord has directed his argument in the main to the financial position under the Bill. Although I said during the Committee stage that it had been estimated by the Ministry of Agriculture that out of the total barley acreage of 800,000 to 850,000 acres, the qualifying barley acreage for this year, 1937, would be approximately 300,000, I would remind the noble Lord that that is only an estimate. With the present level of prices for the three cereals, which according to the latest figures at my disposal are 9s. 9d. a cwt. for wheat and 9s. 6d. for oats and barley, it is quite possible that the farmer will elect to take advantage of the barley subsidy proposals rather than of a deficiency payment under the Wheat Act, owing to the fact that the price of wheat is such that he would not derive any considerable benefit from it. So it is possible that the qualifying acreage figure will be in excess of 300,000 acres. If that is the case, then from the point of view of the liability of the Exchequer and the taxpayer it is proper to follow the precedent adopted in other agricultural legislation of imposing a limit, and the limit will be the acreage that qualifies for barley subsidy this year plus 10 per cent. increase for the year 1938 and the next three succeeding years.

The noble Lord said that the Government need not include this provision because on my own figures they are safeguarded by a two-thirds margin. The amount that will be stipulated under this Bill will be the qualifying acreage alone. If, as the noble Lord fears may be possible, farmers only register in respect of 30,000 acres instead of 300,000, they would not be able to increase their barley acreage for the purpose of assistance by more than 10 per cent. on that acreage. That is the point, I think, that the noble Lord most fears. As I have said, I think that is improbable owing to the price level of the three cereal crops today; and farmers wishing to qualify for the barley assistance would elect to do so this year, in the year 1937, because the ascertained weighted average price will be calculated on the seven-months period from September to March, and nobody can foretell to-day what that ascertained average weighted price will be at the conclusion of that period.

I understand that propaganda will be conducted, both in England and in Scotland, by the representative associations of the agricultural industry to suggest to farmers that they should register this year. I do not think that that propaganda precaution will be essential, for the reason that I have already given: that all those who are likely to benefit more from these proposals than under the Wheat Act: will register in the month of September irrespective of the present price, because the ascertained price will not be calculated until the end of March. There is some misapprehension in the mind of the noble Lord that it is unnecessary to put in this Bill any limit whereby the Exchequer will be safeguarded. For the reasons which I hope I have been able to make clear to the noble Lord, however, that course is necessary because it is impossible to foretell at this stage exactly which way the farmers generally will decide to go.


My Lords, in regard to the first part of my argument: with great respect to my noble friend, he has drawn an enormous red herring across it. I never said anything about the restriction of imports from the Dominions. We never raised that point at all. All I ventured to say was that, so long as these importations, whether from the Dominions or foreign countries, amount to anything in the nature of the 18,000,000 cwt. which they now do, it cannot be reasonable for a Government to insert into an impending Act of Parliament the statement, even by inference, that the acreage under barley in England and in Great Britain as a whole should be standardised or be subject to any kind of qualification. It cannot be right, it cannot be proper, and I cannot agree that any argument could be advanced which would justify any such thing, other than the necessity of limiting the charge upon the Exchequer—and even then I should strongly object to it.

With regard to this limitation of charge, the noble Earl has let out, so to speak, a new fact. I had assumed, I say—and it may have been through my misreading of the Bill—that the eleven-tenths was to be applicable to the persent total acreage of barley. That would be the present total acreage of barley plus one-tenth. I hold that, where it was anticipated that more than one-third of that total acreage could conceivably be found eligible for this assistance, the margin of two-thirds was in itself ample for the protection of the Exchequer, and that consequently there was no reason whatever for the insertion of the standard acreage into the Bill. Now my noble friend tells me that the qualifying acreage is to be eleven-tenths of the acreage which became eligible for the subsidy—or the assistance, as I should prefer to put it—in 1937. Of course, that puts an entirely new face on the matter. We are up against an entirely different proposition.

My noble friend has said that, in view of the fact that world wheat prices have risen to a figure at which the subsidy provision cannot assist the grower, it is conceivable that he will elect to become eligible to register for this barley and oats assistance rather than receive assistance for wheat.

And the noble Earl quoted these world figures of 9s. 6d. per cwt. for oats and for barley. He appears to have forgotten that no kind of assistance is going to be given to the British farmer until the price of oats drops to 8s. per cwt. less 5d. What conceivable incentive has the farmer, when barley and oats are standing at 9s. 6d. per cwt., with no immediate prospect of decrease, to register for any such slight assistance as this Bill proposes to give him? It is highly improbable that any farmer would sacrifice the certainty of the wheat susbidy for the nebulous uncertainty of this assistance in respect of oats and barley, particularly when their prices have risen, are rising, and are likely to continue to rise in the way which my noble friend has described. We are far more likely to get down to this position: that those barley growers who apply and register and thereby become eligible for this assistance in the year of grace 1937 will be infinitely fewer than the 300,000 which the noble Earl designated in Committee when he was discussing this matter with me. Suppose that under this Bill these barley growers do in fact only register some 30,000 acres instead of the 300,000 anticipated acres. Then, as the qualifying acreage has application to 1937, in the coming year and in the three years to follow no more than 30,000 plus one-tenth—that is, 33,000 acres—can ever under this Bill be eligible for the assistance which is granted to them under Part II. If anything tends to substantiate the contention, which I have advanced from the very beginning, that this Bill does nothing whatever for barley growers, it is that very fact and figure. It is really intended to apply the qualifying acreage to the acres registered in 1937. I can only say that the Bill is even more useless to barley growers than I believed that it was, and I did not think much of the Bill from that point of view from the very start.

What I would really urge upon the noble Earl is to come back to the original point. It cannot be right to put into this measure, or into any measure, that it is desirable to standardise a form of production which is liable to importations on an enormous scale. It must be unsound, and in the circumstances the Exchequer stands to lose nothing at all. It is inconceivable that the limit should be reached by so large a figure as to be more than two-thirds, far wider than a two-thirds margin. It seems to me quite absurd to put in this standardisation of acreage, this qualifying acreage, in respect of barley when it is not needed. It gives a wrong impression, and it gives a kind of inference which I cannot think that the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government themselves would wish to be read into the Bill. I still hope that the noble Earl will see his way to make some kind of concession in the matter. It would cost the Government nothing and would make the Bill more digestible, if I may use that word.


My Lords, I do not know that there is very much to add to what my noble friend has already said. The noble Lord, Lord Hastings, has accused him of drawing a red herring across the path of the argument by discussing the question of a tariff on barley from the Dominions. But I think it is perfectly clear that if there is going to be a very large increase in the production of barley in this country, to the extent of a greater production than is really needed, then the price must fall, and either the price must be forced up by means of a tariff or else there must be a large amount of Exchequer assistance. There is a perfectly clear choice. My noble friend can therefore rightly argue against, in this particular case, a tariff, and I think the noble Lord, Lord Hastings, himself admits that, where there is a necessity for anything in the nature of Exchequer assistance, there is a case for inserting some sort of provision for not encouraging a greater production. Therefore I think it would be very undesirable to accept the noble Lord's Amendment. It must in fact lead to an increased amount of subsidy. The noble Lord appears to find that point amusing, and I am afraid I can only leave it at that.


The noble Earl must really make his argument more complete than that. He says it would lead to an increased amount of subsidy. It would lead to nothing of the kind. How can it lead to an increase of subsidy when there is a two-thirds margin, and nothing else? The Government do not wish to give way. I said at the beginning that the Bill was of no use to barley growers, and having got no further forward I think the best I can do is to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


My Lords, my Amendment is drafting.

Amendment moved— Page 5, line 36, leave out from ("shall") to ("be") in line 37.—(The Earl of Fever-sham.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause II [Persons to and by whom payments, elections and applications may be made]:


My Lords, these Amendments are drafting Amendments.

Amendments moved—

Page 9, line 27, leave out ("then") and insert ("at the beginning of the said day")

Page 9, line 30, after ("payment") insert ("otherwise than by virtue of an assignment").—(The Earl of Feversham.)

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

THE EARL OF FEVERSHAM moved to add to the clause: (2) Where—

  1. (a) in any year there occurs, at any time before the fourth day of June, a change in the occupation of a farm which, at the time of the change, comprises land under oats or land under barley, and
  2. (b) the outgoing occupier is, by virtue of any custom or agreement, entitled to harvest the oats or barley,
the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act shall, in relation to the said land, have effect as if for any reference in those provisions to the person who, at the beginning of the fourth day of June in that year, was the occupier of the farm, there were substituted a reference to the outgoing occupier.

The noble Earl said: My Lords, this Amendment has been designed in consultation with the Scottish Department of Agriculture to meet the difficulty raised by Lord Saltoun and other Scottish Lords on the Committee stage, with regard to changes of occupation on May 28, where according to Scottish custom the outgoing occupier retains possession of the crop until it is harvested. The Amendment puts the outgoing occupier in such circumstances in the place of the person in occupation of the farm on June 4, and thus enables him to claim the subsidy in respect of any barley or oats of which he remains the owner. He will also become the person who has to elect to receive either subsidy payments for barley and oats or wheat deficiency payments, and the person to whom the subsidy will finally be paid. The Amendment follows the precedent of the Corn Production Act, which I am advised worked satisfactorily in Scotland, and it avoids the serious administrative difficulty that would be caused by the alteration of the operative date from June 4 to May 28 as originally proposed by my noble friends from Scotland.

Probably this Amendment does not completely cover the Scottish points, in that it does not cover the case of the outgoing occupier who, though he would by custom of the country be entitled to the crop of oats or barley on the land, may not come within the words "is entitled to harvest the oats or barley," because there may be a clause in the agreement under which he entered into the holding, requiring him to sell his crop to the incoming tenant. But that point raises very great difficulties, though I hope I shall be in a position to put on the Paper on the Third Reading an Amendment to cover this additional point.

Amendment moved— Page 9, line 30, at end, insert the said new subsection.—(The Earl of Feversham.)


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Earl for meeting the Scottish point of view to the extent found possible, and also in regard to the further point which he hopes to meet at a later stage.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 19:

Special payments in connection with the eradication of bovine tuberculosis.

(3) The Minister shall, as soon as may be after any arrangements made by him have been approved for the purposes of this section by the Treasury, lay particulars of the arrangements before Parliament.


My Lords, my first Amendment is a drafting Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 52, line 38, leave out ("arrangements") and insert ("a scheme").—(The Earl of Feversham.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

THE EARL OF FEVERSHAM moved to leave out subsection (3) and insert: (3) Any scheme made under this section, and any subsequent scheme amending a scheme so made, shall be laid before Parliament as soon as may be after it has been approved by the Treasury, and if either House of Parliament, within the next twenty-eight days on which that House has sat after the scheme is laid before it, resolves that the scheme be annulled, the scheme shall thereupon cease to have effect, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder or to the making of a new scheme. The noble Earl said: My Lords, this Amendment is similar to that moved by Lord Sempill in Committee, and I am glad to be able to meet him with regard to this point.

Amendment moved— Page 13, line 2o, leave out subsection (3) and insert the said new subsection.—(The Earl of Feversham.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


My Lords, the next Amendment is consequential.

Amendment moved— Page 13, line 28, after ("been") insert Centered into in accordance with a scheme").—(The Earl of Feversham.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 32:

Application to Scotland.

32. In the application of this Act to Scotland—

LORD ROWALLAN moved to insert at the end of the clause "(d) Section eighteen shall not apply." The noble Lord said: My Lords, I would like first of all to thank the noble Earl in charge of the Bill for having seen the Scottish point of view in connection with the Amendments of Lord Saltoun and Lord Sempill. I do not intend to press the Amendment which I have down on the Paper to-day, but I wish to have another opportunity of impressing upon your Lordships the serious position that may be occasioned in Scotland by this Bill. I have called attention to the difficulties which this Bill places upon the police, and the very great extra burden which will be placed upon them, which may well prove almost intolerable. At the present time the Chief Constables in Scotland are answerable not only to their county but to the Departments of Health and Agriculture, and to the Secretary of State for Scotland, who is in the position of the Home Secretary in England. So we have a division of duties at the present time, and the county police, particularly in some scattered districts, are so fully occupied with duties other than those of the protection of property and the prevention of crime that things are getting almost out of hand.

In large parts of Scotland, such as Argyllshire and Sutherland, wholesale sheep stealing is going on in a way with which the police are unable to cope, while in the Lowland districts the same thing is occurring in connection with poultry. Poultry thefts are taking place every day and night. These have been facilitated by the improvements in transport—the motor lorry, the motor car and the motor bicycle. And I fear that another growing evil which has appeared in the last year or two is the question of the greyhound race tracks, whose owners' dogs wander over the countryside completely out of control, chasing the ewes at lambing time, while the owners destroy the fences and leave gates open, doing inestimable damage to the countryside. If the duties of the police under this Bill are to be added to I fear that the farmer may not benefit very much under it, because he will certainly suffer through still less supervision of these pests of the countryside.

Amendment moved— Page 22, line 30, at end insert the said new paragraph.—(Lord Rowallan.)


My Lords, I am sure that my noble friend needs no assurance from me that this point was given special consideration in the framing of the Bill. Perhaps, in view of the discussion that has taken place when this matter has been debated on former stages of the Bill, I might be allowed to re-state the intention of the whole of Part IV. This campaign for the eradication of animal diseases is part of a general policy of increasing agricultural productivity, and it has special reference to Defence considerations. The question of the eradication of animal disease has in the past been dealt with in two ways. One has been the machinery set up under the Diseases of Animals Acts, which embodies two essential features. It first involves control at the ports, which prevents new disease from coming into this island of ours from foreign lands; and secondly, it has as one of its main tenets the criterion of infected areas which are the subject of an order. Under this machinery no account is taken of county boundaries, or indeed of any other border. Under the machinery of the Diseases of Animals Acts we have in the last forty years or more been eminently successful in eradicating some of those most pronounced diseases among our flocks and herds which were doing great damage at the end of the last century and the beginning of this. Sheep pox was stamped out, cattle plague was eradicated in 1877, rabies was stamped out at the beginning of this century, and the last known case of glanders was in 1928. That side of the campaign against disease has been justified in the machinery that was set up under the Diseases of Animals Acts.

The second way in which we have tackled the problem has been legislation directed to the purity of supplies from the public health service point of view. That has been administered by local authorities in England and Wales and in Scotland, with varying results. Under this Bill we propose to tackle the problem as we know it to-day, which is a very serious one. The Gowland Hopkins Committee's Report estimated that £14,000,000 a year was lost on account of disease in our flocks and herds and poultry. Although my right honourable friend has naturally paid a tribute to the work of the local authorities, which have during the course of those years done all within their power to reduce the incidence of disease, there can be little doubt that what is wrong is the varying standards of administration, and those varying standards are often due to the varying rateable values and the resources of certain of the local authorities. Good work done in one county can be hampered, or even destroyed, by less good work clone in an adjoining county.

I feel that your Lordships' experience is similar to my own, and that farmers generally are disheartened from cooperating in this great battle against disease if they know that a higher standard is imposed in one area as against that imposed in another. This Bill therefore proposes something larger in scope than the local authorities have been able to undertake in the past. We are now treating the whole question of animal disease from the point of view of the health of the animal, laying greater stress upon health than upon the public service for making greater headway. The best and surest way of getting tubercle-free milk is to get cows free from tubercle in the first instance. That is the reason why the Government decided that a central veterinary service was necessary.

The noble Lord, Lord Rowallan, has referred to the difficulties that will be met by local authorities in Scotland when the function of the veterinary officer is taken over by the State, and he has said that they will be left with many heavy administrative functions to be effected by the police and by the sanitary inspectors, without having the control of the disease problem and the solution of eradication within their jurisdiction. There can, no doubt, be very strong arguments on the lines put forward by the noble Lord, but I suggest that it would not be administratively possible for the Government to take over those functions that are incidental to the veterinary service as we know it; it would inevitably create duplication of service. There would necessarily have to be officers of the central authorities whose duty would be to carry out the work which is now done by the police of the local authorities. There would at the same time have to be a police service within the jurisdiction of the county council, and it would, I think, not be in the interests of public finance if we were to admit that by this scheme we are going to lose that useful element of co-operation that has existed in the past.

My right honourable friend, in making arrangements for the central veterinary service, must depend to a large extent upon the good will of the local authorities if the main fundamental principle of the Bill is to be carried out and if there is to be much headway made in the general eradication of disease. It is felt that the result of the noble Lord's Amendment would be that, whilst in England the Minister of Agriculture would be in control of all the veterinary services as they are viewed under Clause 18, these services would in Scotland be partly under the control of the Minister and partly of the local authorities as regards the functions under the Diseases of Animals Acts, and under the control partly of the Secretary of State's Departments and partly of the local authorities as regards the functions under the enactments relating to milk and to dairies. This would leave the position as regards veterinary services in great confusion, and would be contrary to the principles that underlie the single veterinary service for Great Britain as a whole which Clause 18 of the Bill is intended to provide. It is for these reasons that I am afraid the Government cannot recognise the claims that the noble Lord, Lord Rowallan, has so clearly put before your Lordships on behalf of Scotland and of the County Councils' Association for Scotland.


My Lords, in view of the statement of the noble Earl covering the rather wide ground of Part IV, it might be appropriate if I asked him to make clear a certain matter regarding the powers for the eradication of disease which does not appear to me to be as clear as one would like to see it. I understood the noble Earl to suggest that the encouragement of research was one of the services which might be rendered. In the White Paper which has been circulated the various moneys are set out to which the noble Earl has been referring, but there is no mention of any fund being available for the assistance of research, and the only section of the Bill under which that would appear to be possible is Clause 2o. Whether the words "eradicating as far as practicable diseases of animals" include the provision of assistance for research or not is a very important matter. I should be glad if the noble Earl would look into it and if he could give us some assurance that it does include assistance for research, and also that it will include ability on the part of the Department to obtain from the Treasury such sums as they may agree with them for that purpose, these sums to be included in the Departmental Votes in the ordinary way. It is a vital part of this attack on disease that the Council for the Scientific Research into Animal Diseases should be very generously assisted, and I should be glad if the noble Earl could tell us whether that assistance is possible under the Bill as it now stands, and, if so, is it intended that it shall be provided.


My Lords, by leave of the House, I beg to reassure the noble Lord, Lord Addison, in regard to both the points he has raised. Clause 20, to which he drew your Lordships' attention, does enable the Department to make grants to the Agricultural Research Council. With regard to the second point, the money provided by the clause is merely limited by the Vote of Parliament. I hope that that answer is sufficient to assure the noble Lord that the matter which he has so much at heart is provided for in the Bill.


My Lords, while thanking the noble Earl for his reply, I must at the same time say I am disappointed to get no assurance from him that the Minister will do his best to see that the duties of the police are not unduly increased by the administration of this Bill, so that the countryside may still receive attention.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.