HC Deb 26 April 1937 vol 323 cc19-21
32. Mr. Lambert

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that over 1,30o persons engaged in the poultry industry have gone out of business during the past year, and the replacement stock of young poultry has shrunk by over 3o per cent.; and when he proposes to take steps to check the decline in this important food producing industry?

33. Captain Macnamara

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the continued anxiety in the poultry industry throughout the country; and whether he is yet in a position to announce a policy in this connection?

46. Captain Heilgers

asked the Prime Minister, whether his attention has been drawn to the Notice of Motion in the name of the hon. Member for Stone (Sir J. Lamb) which has been signed by 169 Members;, and whether he is now able to state when this request will be complied with?

[That, in view of the critical conditions which have developed in the poultry industry, compelling the wholesale closing-down of poultry businesses, this House urges the Government to announce their policy without further delay.]

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I was not aware of the figures mentioned by my right hon. Friend the Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert), and perhaps he will be good enough to send me further particulars. In reply to the other questions I would refer to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bére) on r9th April.

Mr. Lambert

Would the Minister request the proper authorities to give some idea of the number of persons who have been thrown out of the poultry business in the past year and thus get an approximate average?

Mr. Bossom

Could my right hon. Friend inquire at the same time how many poultry businesses have gone bankrupt in the last six months?

Captain Heilgers

In view of the promise made to a deputation to the Prime Minister that full consideration in the making of new trade agreements would be given to the poultry industry, and of the fact that some time must elapse before the new trade agreements will be made, will my right hon. Friend be able to issue a reassuring statement at an early date as to what is meant by full consideration?

Mr. Morrison

My right hon. Friend the Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert) has made a statement in his question, and I shall be obliged if he will give me the evidence he has for it. I have given such information as I can gather from my staff officers, but I shall be glad to have the full information on which he bases his question. With regard to the other supplementary questions, as I have said before, I am not in a position to make a statement, and I cannot promise to make one before the Adjournment, but as soon as I can I will make a statement.

Mr. Lambert

My figures are based on information given to me by the Scientific Poultry Breeders' Association.

Mr. Morrison

I hope that my right hon. Friend will send me the figures so that I may have them critically examined.

Mr. Leach

Will the right hon. Gentleman give the assurance that he has not yet fixed the date on which the poultry farmers of the country will get their snouts into the national trough?