HC Deb 15 May 1918 vol 106 cc347-8
32. Major DAVIES

asked the Under secretary of State for War whether all the hay supplies and forage in this country are commandeered by the Army Council; whether he can state what percentage of these supplies are issued for Army purposes and how the balance is disposed of; whether he is aware that a feeling exists among farmers regarding the action of the Army Council in this matter; and what steps he proposes to take to limit the demands of the Army in respect of the requirements of the Service?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The great bulk of the hay crop is used by farmers and stock-breeders for consumption by stock in their possession or control. As I have previously stated some 2,000,000 tons remain over and are available for general consumption, of this the Army requires about 50 per cent. Steps are being taken to give the farmers adequate representation on the Central Council and the various allotment committees in connection with the Civil supply scheme, and consequently I hope that the feeling referred to will be allayed.


May I ask why the disposal of hay supplies should not be in the hands of the Department of Agriculture?


Our first consideration is necessarily supplies to the Army.