HC Deb 25 February 1918 vol 103 cc1077-8

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that some war agricultural committees have doubled the original acreage to be ploughed in cases where appeals have been made; whether the Board has issued any Regulation sanctioning this course of procedure; and, if not, whether he is prepared to issue fresh instructions to the war agricultural committees in accordance with the views he has expressed in public?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Prothero)

No Regulation has been issued by the Board on the particular point referred to, but there seems no reason why a committee should not increase the acreage to be ploughed if, after hearing the case, they are satisfied that it would be in the national interest to do so.

10. Major DAVIES

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether dairy farmers and graziers accustomed to produce meat and milk are expected to plough up more than one-ninth of their grass land; and whether the Board of Agriculture have issued any instructions to the war agricultural committees defining clearly the amount of acreage which should be ploughed on farms of this description?


The programme of the Department contemplated the breaking up of one-ninth of the total area of grass in the country as a whole, but it was never suggested that this proportion should be applied to individual holdings. The committees were urged to select carefully the land best suited to arable cultivation, and to consider each case on its merits. It is impossible to lay down definite rules which can be applied to all the varying conditions of different farms, and the acreage to be ploughed on any particular farm must be left to the discretion of the practical men composing the agricultural executive committees. A letter has, however, recently been issued to agricultural executive committees dealing with the breaking up of grass land in the occupation of dairy farmers, and I am sending a copy to my hon. and gallant Friend.

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