HC Deb 14 March 1917 vol 91 c1076
67. Mr. WATT

asked the President to the Board of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the existence of what is known as a ring among threshing machine owners in Bedfordshire, Bucks, and the surrounding counties; is he aware that this system prevents farmers getting their crops threshed except at the time and at the price that suit the machine owners; and will he consider the advisability of commandeering these machines before the autumn of this year so that farmers may not be delayed in getting their wheat to markets?


I am not aware of the existence of any rings among threshing machine owners, but I have given instructions to make careful inquiries, and if the hon. Member will supply further particulars I shall be much obliged to him. The Director-General of Food Production has the subject of facilities for threshing under consideration, and we have already instituted inquiries into the supply of threshing machines which will be available next autumn, and shall be prepared to act as the results of those inquiries appear to indicate.