§ MR. BOWERMAN (Deptford)
To ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether the attention of the Board has been called to the fact that, owing to the shortage of American and Canadian cattle, no market was held at Deptford either on Monday or Wednesday of last week, and that already this year seventeen of the usual markets have not been held at Deptford; whether he has any official information showing that such shortage of cattle is due to a designed and regulated limitation of supplies rather than to an actual shortage; and whether the Board in the interests of British consumers will institute an inquiry.
60 (Answered by Sir Edward Strachey.) The Board are aware that no market was held at Deptford on the days mentioned, and that during this year nineteen of the usual markets have not been held. An actual shortage of cattle imported from the United States and Canada undoubtedly exists, 19,000 fewer cattle having been landed at Deptford this year than last, but the Board have no information to show that this shortage is due to the cause suggested by my hon. friend. It is generally attributed to the present high price of maize and other feeding stuffs, and to local conditions temporarily affecting the trade in the United States. The Board do not consider that any specific inquiry would serve any useful purpose, but they will bear the suggestion in mind.