HC Deb 02 May 1940 vol 360 c937W
Sir R. Wells

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he has taken to ensure that the Rats Destruction Act, 1919, is operated efficiently in all urban areas?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

Powers to execute and enforce the Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act, 1919, in urban areas are vested in county councils, county borough councils and Metropolitan borough councils, and in such town councils and urban district councils to whom county councils have, with their consent, delegated their powers. My powers are restricted to cases in which a responsible local authority fails to carry out its duties under the Act, and I think that, generally speaking, the local authorities concerned have, in the past, carried out their duties efficiently. The question, however, of an intensive campaign for the destruction of rats during the present emergency in both urban and rural districts is under consideration.