§ 60. Sir A. MARKHAM
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the War Office, under the Emergency Act of 7th August, are seizing hay from collieries; whether, seeing that Section 6 of Order 53/5318, dated War Office, 12th April, states that there is a very large quantity of hay of all kinds in the country, he will say why small stocks of hay purchased for pit ponies are being seized; whether he is aware that many collieries on which many of His Majesty's services depend cannot be worked without ponies; and will he explain what are the business considerations that compel the War Office to seize hay in one district which, if the collieries are to work, must be got from other districts and carried on the railways, now greatly congested?
§ Mr. TENNANT
What is wanted for shipment oversea is hard hay. Where collieries are concerned, the instructions are that hay in their possession should be inspected and bought, if suitable for war requirements, and that good hay of different class should be sold to the collieries at the same price as the hay bought from them. In other words, the transaction is in effect an exchange of hay not suitable for shipment for hay suitable for shipment, and, in the public interest, I venture to think the arrangement is necessary and proper.