HC Deb 26 July 1937 vol 326 cc2652-3
31. Mr. Liddall

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that imports of eggs in shell increased from 8,974,000 great hundreds in the first six months of 1935 to 11,531,000 great hundreds in the corresponding period of this year; and whether, in the light of these circumstances, he can state what steps it is now proposed to take to safeguard egg production in this country?

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. W. S. Morrison)

I am aware of the increase in imports of eggs this year compared with the corresponding period in 1935, but I would remind my hon. Friend that the average price of eggs during the first half of this year has been substantially higher than in the same period in 1935. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 19th July to questions by my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ripon (Major Hills) and by the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Mathers).

Mr. Levy

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there has been a tremendous increase in the cost of feeding stuffs, and that this more than cancels out the advantage of the extra price?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware that feeding stuffs have advanced in price since 1935 by about 30 per cent., but the cost of feeding stuffs, of course, is due to world conditions.

Mr. Bellenger

Does the right hon. Gentleman think, in view of the rise in price that he has mentioned, that no action is necessary by the Government to deal with this hard-hit industry?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir, I would not say that.

Sir A. Knox

Is the Minister considering the large number of poultry producers who are going bankrupt every day?

Mr. Stephen

Is the House to take it that the Minister is still brooding?