HC Deb 24 June 1920 vol 130 cc2413-4W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture why it was necessary to employ a gentleman with a hired motorcar to visit remote districts in the whole county of Dorset to inquire as to the number of horses kept on farms, etc., when a few days afterwards local constables called at every house with forms to be filled up in duplicate; what was the cost to the country of this gentleman's outing; and why the second formality was necessary if the first was efficient in gaining information?


I think my hon. and gallant Friend's question must refer to the collection of statistics regarding horses made by the Board of Trade for the use of the War Office. The Agricultural Returns, which record the acreage under crops and the number of livestock on the farms, are sent out by post at the beginning of June, and only if the farmers neglect to return them within a reasonable time is it the duty of the Crop Reporter to endeavour to obtain them personally. If, however, my hon. and gallant Friend will supply me with further particulars I shall be glad to have the matter inquired into.