§ Mr. Tree
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that licence No. 12,792, issued under the Horse Breeding Act, 1918, in respect of the stallion Lymm Rex to Mr. James Gould, of Crouchley Hall, Lymm, Cheshire, and subsequently re-issued on the sale of Lymm Rex to Mr. Attfield, of Peatling Magna, Leicestershire, has been suspended by the Ministry by reason of the existence of one of the defects mentioned in paragraph 8 of the Horse Breeding (England and Wales) Regulations, 1919; and how such a licence came to be issued, in view of the fact that the defect mentioned existed at the time of the examination made by the veterinary surgeon instructed by the Ministry to ascertain whether such a licence should be issued; and what compensation it is proposed to give Mr. Attfield, who bought Lymm Rex, as possessing a Ministry of Agriculture licence which has now proved to be valueless?
§ Mr. Ramsbotham
My right hon. Friend is aware of the facts of this case. The licence was issued on the report of the examining veterinary surgeon which did not indicate the existence of any of the diseases or defects prescribed in paragraph 8 of the Horse Breeding (England and Wales) Regulations, 1919. The existence of a licence cannot be accepted as relieving a purchaser of the responsibility in his own interests of taking all possible precautions to ascertain that a stallion is free from defect or disease, and the Horse Breeding Act, 1918, does not contain any provision for the payment of compensation by the Ministry in a case of the kind referred to by my hon. Friend.