§ 16. Sir THOMAS ROSBOTHAM
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he has considered the Resolutions, copies of which were sent to him, passed by a meeting of 2,000 poultry keepers in Lancashire, calling attention to the serious position of those engaged in that branch of agriculture; and what action he proposes to take to avert a disaster to the poultry industry?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
I have examined carefully the Resolutions referred to by my hon. Friend. As regards the quantitative regulation of imports of eggs in shell, I would refer to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Horncastle (Mr. Haslam) on 4th June, a copy of which I am sending to my hon. Friend, dealing with the emergency steps which the Government has taken to hold the import situation for the time being. As regards the suggested increased Customs duties, I would remind my hon. Friend that the statutory procedure provides for consideration of these matters in the first instance by the Import Duties Advisory Committee. The Resolutions generally will receive my careful consideration, but my hon. Friend will be aware that the whole question of the future organisation of the egg and poultry industry in England and Wales is at present being considered by a Reorganisation Commission, and that a similar inquiry is in progress in Scotland. In the meantime, as I have indicated, action with regard to imports of eggs in shell has already been taken.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
Has the attention of the Import Duties Advisory Committee been directed to this matter?
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Surely, if there is one thing we should do, it is to produce our own eggs; there should not be any foreign eggs of any sort imported?
§ Sir T. ROSBOTHAM
Will my right hon. Friend anticipate the report of the Committee by prohibiting the importation of all liquid eggs?