§ Colonel WALKER
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agri- 394W culture whether the Board have appointed five members of the Lancashire County Agricultural Committee in addition to the ten appointed by the county council; whether, before the Board made these appointments, the county committee of the National Farmers' Union requested the Board to include representatives of the National Farmers' Union and submitted a list of prominent county farmers from which the Board might choose; why the Board deliberately refused; what are the numbers of the total committee, of landowners, land agents, tenant farmers, and farm labourers, respectively; on whose nomination the Board appointed the five members; and what are their respective qualifications for the position?
§ Mr. PRATT
The Lancashire Agricultural Executive Committee has been constituted in the manner stated in the question. In selecting their nominees the Board considered the names suggested by the county committee of the National Farmers' Union, but the Board have consistently declined to admit the principle that the representatives of the different agricultural interests should be nominated by outside organisations, as such a principle would result in the members acting as delegates of their union rather than as independent representatives of the industry. The committee consists of fifteen members, of whom five are landowners, some of whom farm their own land, two land agents, five tenant farmers, one agricultural manufacturer, one woman and one representative of Labour. The woman, the representative of Labour and three of the tenant farmers constitute the five members appointed by the Board, and they were selected by the Board in view of the fact that they had done valuable service on the old committee, and that it was desirable to retain their services.