§ 81. Mr. RENDALL
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he can yet give an answer to the request to permit Messrs. John Arnold and Sons, of Wick war, to obtain hay in this district, which the War Office have hitherto refused to release; and is he aware of the serious consequences of his Department's neglect to attend to this matter?
§ Mr. FORSTER
I understand the position to be that the Department holds certain stocks of last year's hay bought for Army use at rates considerably lower than those now prevailing for hay of 1919 crop, and that Messrs. Arnold and Sons wish to have some of this Government hay released to them at the controlled price because they are unwilling to pay the pre- 1300 sent uncontrolled price for this year's hay. I would point out to my hon. Friend that this would involve loss to the public, as the hay is required for the Army, and any hay so released to individuals would have to be replaced at current prices. I do not think this is a proposal which would commend itself either to my hon. Friend or to the House generally.
§ 82. Mr. CROOKS
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he has received any representations in favour of instituting control, both as regards price and distribution, of the 1919 hay crop; whether he is aware that prices are rising daily and that in absence of any restrictions no effort is being made to conserve this supply; and whether this matter will be considered?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Bridge-man)
I have been asked to reply. I have received many representations both for and against the control of the 1919 hay crop. I am aware that 1919 hay is being sold at prices considerably in excess of the fixed prices for last year's hay. The question of what, if any, action should be taken by the Government is receiving careful consideration.
§ 87. Major WHELER
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture if he will make a statement as to the Government policy as to control of hay of the 1919 crop before the House of Commons rises for the Recess?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I have been asked to reply. I regret that I am not yet in a position to announce positively the policy of the Government in regard to this matter. On the negative side I am in a position to say that at present the Government has no intention of commandeering hay.