HC Deb 26 June 1934 vol 291 cc956-7

asked the Minister of Agriculture if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the imports of eggs from foreign countries increased from 1,090,000 great hundreds in May, 1932, to 1,200,000 great hundreds in May, 1933, and to 1,403,000 great hundreds in May, 1934; and when he hopes to be able to announce his policy to protect the British poultry industry?


I was aware of the figures to which my hon. Friend refers. The Government's emergency action to protect the poultry industry was announced on 15th March, when it was stated that, in order to hold the situation for the time being, the Governments of countries exporting eggs to the United Kingdom were being asked to ensure that their exports to this market during the six months 15th March to 14th September, do not exceed the figures for the corresponding period of 1933, when, for the year as a whole, imports of eggs in shell from foreign countries were the lowest for 10 years. As I have indicated, the standstill arrangement covers a period of six months. Imports vary from month to month, and no special significance should, therefore, be attached to the figures for any particular month. It is satisfactory to note, however, that in the 13 weeks from 17th March to 16th June, imports of eggs from foreign countries were actually lower by 247,000 great hundreds, or about 8 per cent., compared with the corresponding period of last year.

Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN

Does my right hon. Friend realise that if all the eggs imported in a week were put end to end they would stretch from here to New York?