also asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the growing slaughter of calves in this country; and, seeing that some agriculturists contend that this policy is adverse to the Prosperity of the agricultural community, will he say what is his policy on the matter?
I have no evidence which would lead me to believe that any-abnormal slaughter of calves is taking place, or that such a practice has increased in recent years. The Returns1556W
The answers to the first two parts of the question are in the negative. With regard to the last part, particulars of the animals slaughtered and the compensation paid are as follow:
collected by my Department show that there were, on 4th June last, more cattle in England and Wales than in any pre-War year except 1911, and that there has been a steady increase in the numbers since 1921. Moreover, there were, on that date, nearly 80,000 more cattle under one year old than 12 months before. In the circumstances I do not consider that it is necessary or desirable to take any special steps for increasing or maintaining the cattle population. I might add that the Ministry's scheme for the improvement of livestock, which has been in operation since 1914, does encourage the retention of suitable calves for rearing.