HC Deb 19 July 1946 vol 425 c275W
Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Food what steps he takes in the conduct of the rat campaign to avoid conflict with the local authorities in the exercise of their statutory functions; what aid he gives to the local authorities; whether he is satisfied with the efforts made by them; and, in view of the present situation, what further steps he is taking to avoid waste of food and other commodities.

Mr. Strachey

My officers are in constant touch with local authorities in the conduct of the Ministry's rat campaign. Local authorities are assisted by giving them the latest scientific guidance, by providing training for their officers and by meeting net irrecoverable costs the authorities undertake at the Ministry's suggestion. I am satisfied that most of the 1,496 local authorities are undertaking useful and helpful efforts in the destruction of rats, and I have appealed for extra effort. I have offered local authorities two special grants, (a) 30 per cent. of the cost of two half-yearly treatments against rats in their sewer systems, and (b) 60 per cent. of the cost of treating private dwellings included in approved comprehensive rat clearance schemes, provided 40 per cent, is borne by the local rate fund, and on the distinct understanding that occupiers of trading premises included in such schemes are required to pay for services rendered.