§ Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office under what circumstances the Director of Remounts was induced to issue a circular or make a statement in favour of the maintenance of fox-hunting; whether the Cabinet was consulted before this pronouncement was made; and whether he will state the total number of horses commandeered from hunt establishments at the outbreak of war and what proportion, after commandeering, had to be again disposed of as useless for military purposes?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the then Under-Secretary of State, on January 6th, 1915, to the hon. Member for Brecknock. My right hon. Friend explained that the object in view was the continuance of the breeding and raising of light horses suitable for Cavalry work, and that if this important and vital military purpose was to be secured, the maintenance of hunts is necessary. The circular was issued on the authority of the Secretary of State and the then Adjutant-General. I regret that the figures asked for are not available and that their preparation would involve an incommensurate amount of clerical labour.