§ Mr. S. MITCHELL
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he is aware that the strawberry disease is still very prevalent in Scotland; and will he state what progress has been made by the Scottish Board of Agriculture in the investigations as to its cause and as to its eradication;
(2) if he is aware that during the last few days 40 tons of strawberries from Holland were landed at the port of Leith; and will he state if the Scottish Board of Agriculture have any evidence indicating a connection between the strawberry disease which is sweeping over the strawberry fields of Scotland and the importation of foreign strawberries and foreign strawberry plants;
(3) if the investigations of the Scottish Board of Agriculture regarding the strawberry disease are sufficiently far advanced for him to consider the advisability of enforcing restrictions with a view to eradicating the disease?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I am aware that strawberry diseases are still prevalent in Scotland. The diseases are the subject of investigation both in Scotland and in England, and in particular research is proceeding at the West of Scotland Agricultural College. That investigation is being conducted by Mr. D. G. O'Brien, Advisory Officer in Plant Pathology, and Mr. D. V. Howells, Senior Lecturer in Horticulture, under the general supervision of Professor Montagu Drummond, Professor of Botany in Glasgow University. The investigators are in touch with similar work being carried on in England. So far no definite cause of the diseases has been established, and in the circumstances it would he premature to consider the question of imposing any measure of control. The Board of Agriculture for Scotland have no evidence indicating any connection between the importation of foreign strawberries and strawberry plants and the occurrence of strawberry diseases in Scotland.