§ SIR JOHN LENG (Dundee)
To ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether the Board has taken any method of informing the agriculturists of the United Kingdom that the importations of dairy produce from abroad last year are valued in the Board of Trade Returns at more than £20,500,000 for butter, £6,400,000 for cheese, and £6,399,000 for eggs, while poultry also exceeded £1,000,000; and whether he sees his way to introduce such measures for promoting improved methods of dairy working and co-operation, and such economical transport of produce between the country and towns as will enable British farmers to retain a large portion of the £34,000,000 now sent abroad for foreign produce.
(Answered by Mr. Hanbury.) It has been for many years past the practice to publish in the Journal of the Board of Agriculture a special article on the subject of the imports of agricultural produce during the year, and an article dealing with the imports for 1902 will appear in the forthcoming number. We have also from time to time given publicity to descriptions of improved processes of dairying employed in the Colonies and abroad, and of the systems adopted with regard to the production and distribution of dairy produce and eggs in Denmark, Ireland, and other countries. I have myself repeatedly called the attention of representative bodies of agriculturists to the importance of organisation and combination in the directions to which the hon. Member refers. I have been in communication with the Postmaster General on the subject of the collection and forwarding of parcels of agricultural produce; and I also hope that the extended use of motor vans and cars may further assist in the same direction.