HC Deb 09 September 1942 vol 383 cc180-2W
Sir G. Jeffreys

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent the membership or staff of the Agricultural Research Council is on a whole-time basis; how frequently it meets; and what funds have been made available to it to carry out its work during each of the past three years?

Sir J. Anderson

I have been asked to reply. Members of the Agricultural Research Council do not serve on a whole-time basis. The Secretary of the Council gives full-time service to the Council, but the whole-time services of the remainder of the staff are at present shared by the Agricultural Research Council and the Development Commission. The Council has also a small full-time scientific staff. The council itself meets monthly, except in August and December. There are frequent meetings of committees and conferences of the council. The grants in aid to the council for the last three years have been as follow:

Financial year £
1940–41 58,571
1941–42 84,546
1942–43 125,000

The Council also advises the Agricultural Departments upon the much larger expenditure borne on their votes for the maintenance of Agricultural Research Institutes.

Sir G. Jeffreys

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent the Agricultural Research Council co-operates with industrial research organisations concerned with chemicals and fertilisers?

Sir J. Anderson

I have been asked to reply. The Agricultural Research Council works in close collaboration with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in relation to chemical problems of mutual interest and with the responsible Departments in regard to fertilisers. In connection with specific investigations the Council makes contacts with the research organisations of firms concerned with chemicals and fertilisers, whenever such a course is desirable.

Captain Plugge

asked the Minister of Agriculture what organisation exists to circulate to all concerned in this country the results of agricultural research and its application in countries overseas; and whether he will instruct the Agricultural Improvement Council to investigate the possibility of action in this direction?

Mr. Hudson

The results of agricultural research are disseminated in this country mainly through the research, advisory and educational organisation set up by the Ministry. In addition, Press and broadcast news services are conducted and propaganda is carried out in other ways. A recent development has been the formation, for the purpose, of Demonstration Sub-Committees of County War Agricultural Executive Committees.

Prior to the war, overseas agricultural publications and abstracts of agricultural literature were generally available to research, advisory and educational workers; there were numerous meetings of international agricultural bodies; and other arrangements existed for securing contacts with agricultural scientific workers in overseas countries. These facilities have been drastically curtailed under war conditions, although the extensive abstracting and publication system operating under the auspices of the Imperial Agricultural Bureaux organisation is being maintained as far as practicable and is fully utilised. The Agricultural Improvement Council for England and Wales will include this matter in its consideration of the future arrangements for agricultural advisory work in this country.

Colonel Carver

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent the Agricultural Improvement Council uses the services of the veterinary surgeons in getting the results of research applied and utilised by farmers in connection with livestock?

Mr. Hudson

Although the Agricultural Improvement Council for England and Wales is an advisory body, and therefore does not itself organise the application of the results of research in agricultural practice, it fully recognises the important influence of the veterinary profession in securing the rapid adoption of improved methods based on investigations concerned with animal health. The Director of the Ministry's veterinary laboratory, himself a veterinary surgeon, is a member of the council, and leading members of the profession are included in the committee recently set up by the council to supervise large-scale experiments in artificial insemination.