§ MR. RANKIN
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he would take into his consideration the advisability of adding to the forms for the annual Agricultural Returns columns to be filled in with the number of bushels or tons grown, per acre, of the various crops under cultivation, in order to obtain some statistics as to the quantity of British agricultural produce, as well as merely the number of acres sown?
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
I am well aware of the importance of the Returns suggested in the Question of the hon. Member, and the question has for some time been under the consideration of the Department; but the difficulties in the way of producing such Returns are really very formidable—not merely the difficulty of securing the assistance of farmers in such a matter, but it seemed almost impossible to estimate the production of certain crops. For instance, a permanent pasture is largely consumed by animals on the spot, and these animals are partly fed by other crops. At the same time, as I have said, the matter is still under consideration; and I may suggest to the hon. Gentleman, if he has any ideas on the subject, that he should call at the Department and see Mr. Gray, who is at the head of the Statistical Department, and confer with him on the subject.