§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture a question, of which I have just given him private notice, namely: If he is aware that the present price of meat, and anxiety as to the prospective cost of feeding-stuffs, are inducing some of the smaller stock-owners to slaughter their cows, ewes, and sows; and whether, in view of the importance to the nation under existing circumstances and in view of possible future requirements of maintaining the present head of breeding stock throughout the country, the Government will make forthwith an earnest appeal to all farmers and other stock-owners to refrain from the slaughter of such stock, at the same time reassuring them as to the probable maintenance of an adequate supply of feeding-stuffs at moderate prices?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Runciman)
Notice of the question which the hon. Gentleman has just put to me I received only a few minutes ago, but I can inform the House that this, amongst other matters affecting food supplies and the supplies of raw materials, has had the continuous attention of the Government, and that we have now quite sufficient information to allay any alarm that may exist, whether amongst farmers or others, and we are taking such steps as we can to inform the farming community that there is no necessity whatever, either at present or prospectively, for the slaughter of their young stock for financial or other reasons.