HC Deb 30 July 1943 vol 391 cc1931-2W
Lieutenant-Commander Tufnell

asked the Minister of Agriculture what instructions have been given to pests officers as regards destruction of wild mammals and birds; and on whose responsibility the details of such instructions are decided?

Mr. Hudson

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer I gave on 23rd May to a. Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Brixton (Mr. Colman) which explains the policy of my Department and the responsibilities of county war agricultural executive committees in this matter. Pests officers are the servants of such committees and it is not practicable to set out the instructions which have been given to them by the committees regarding the performance of their duties.

Colonel Carver

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the serious insect pests affecting cultivation this year are regarded as requiring organised and effective effort to suppress them and what is being done on such lines?

Mr. Hudson

The incidence of attack by insect pests varies greatly from year to year and while some kinds are abundant this year, others are scarcer than usual. Advice is available to farmers through the war agricultural executive committees and the provincial advisory entomologists, and war agricultural executive committees have been supplied with a large number of spraying machines of different types for controlling insect attack. In addition the technical development sub-committees are taking such steps as are practicable to demonstrate suitable methods of control.