HC Deb 30 November 1916 vol 88 cc526-7W

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the proceedings at a meeting of the Sutherland Farmers' Club, at the Sutherland Arms Hotel, Golspie, where a resolution was unanimously passed deploring that while the Government was asking the farmers to increase their food production, so large an area of land suitable for cattle and sheep was entirely devoted to sporting purposes, and that the ravages of deer and other game to crops caused a loss to farmers and diminished food production at home; whether the Board of Agriculture has any official information on this matter; and whether he proposes to take any action?


The Board of Agriculture for Scotland has taken due note of the proceedings referred to by my hon. Friend. I am in communication with the Board, and with the estate as to the extent of the grievance complained of and as to any practicable steps which might be taken in the matter. I shall be glad if my hon. Friend will speak to me in a few days, when I hope to be able to give him the information resulting from these inquiries.


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he has now received the observations and suggestions which he invited the district agricultural committees throughout Scotland to make upon the representations made by the Blackfaced-sheep Breeders' Association and by the National Farmers' Union of Scotland as to the damage caused by deer and other game to hill-grazings and crops and as to changes in the game laws necessary for the increase of food production at the present time; and whether he proposes to take any action?


The answers from the committees are not yet complete, but I am informed that so far as received they do not contain numerous complaints. The difficulties which confront proprietors and tenants in this matter are the same difficulties apparent in so many fields of activity at present, namely, the sparsity of persons capable of killing deer and ground game.