§ Colonel Carver
asked the Minister of Agriculture what was the number of stallions licensed last year under the Horse Breeding Act, 1918, dividing the number, respectively, for heavy horses, light horses, cobs and ponies?
1,479 heavy horses, 166 light horses and 49 cobs and ponies were licensed under the Horse Breeding Act, 1918, to travel for service in the 1940 season.
§ Colonel Carver
asked the Minister of Agriculture (1) whether he can give an assurance that everything possible is being done at the present time to encourage the production of heavy agricultural horses, with a view to ensuring a steady supply of horse-transport for agricultural operations, which are likely continually to increase in this country over the next decade;
(2) whether he has considered the representations of the National Farmers' Union that the grants to heavy horse societies should be reintroduced at an early date; and whether, in view of the decline in horse-breeding which has occurred since the withdrawal of this grant, he will reconsider this matter as one of urgency?
No financial assistance is at present being given for heavy horse breeding. I have considered the representations of the National Farmers' Union with regard to the restoration of the grants to heavy horse societies, but I regret that I cannot see my way to rescind their suspension. I am aware that here has been a decline in horse breeding over the last two years, but the evidence available does 311W not suggest that this decline is attributable except in a minor degree to the withdrawal of the grant. Seeing that breeding at the present juncture is not likely to affect the supply of horses during the war, I cannot agree that the matter is one of urgency. Equally the view that the demand for agricultural horses is likely to increase over the next decade is, to say the least, a matter of opinion.