HC Deb 11 December 1906 vol 167 cc139-40

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture whether during the last thirty years, the dependence of the United Kingdom on imported food has increased from 124,000,000 sterling to 205,000,000; whether the area of corn crops has diminished in the last thirty years by 3,000,000 acres; and whether any other European country shows such a marked decline in agriculture.

MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)

May I answer this for my hon. friend. The total value of articles classified as food in the Trade Returns (including tea, coffee, cocoa, wine, beer, spirits and mineral waters) imported into the United Kingdom was £126,000.000 in 1875, and £208,000,000 in 1905. The area under all corn crops in the United Kingdom was 11,399,030 acres in 1875 and 8,350,796 acres in 1905. Similar Returns for the same period are only available for certain European countries, but in no case do they indicate so great a reduction in the acreage under corn.

SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

Can the hon. Gentleman say how many agricultural labourers have been thrown out of employment by the reduction of the corn area?

MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)

How much of the land has been taken out of cultivation and applied to sporting purposes?


Obviously I cannot answer such Questions without notice.