HC Deb 18 March 1937 vol 321 cc2258-9
67. Mr. Roland Robinson

asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of people engaged in the poultry farming industry who have been forced out of the business during the past six months owing to the bad state of the industry?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I have no information as to changes in the number of people engaged in the poultry industry during the last six months.

Mr. Robinson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, if he made an inquiry on the lines suggested in the question, it would disclose a very grave state of affairs?

Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

In view, of the condition of this industry, would it not be worth while to make some inquiry?

Mr. T. Williams

Is it not the case that in every branch of agriculture there is a certain amount of flotsam and jetsam to be found?

Mr. Morrison

The information I am given is that at the present time the imports of eggs are considerably below what they were at this time last year, and the price at the present moment is above what it has been in recent years.

Mr. Bossom

Can my right hon. Friend state how many poultry farmers have gone bankrupt in the last six months?

68. Mr. R. Robinson

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the increasingly grave situation in the poultry industry, he will take immediate action to assist the industry by preventing foreign eggs being sold in this country as new-laid, and, in so far as he is permitted by trade treaties, taking steps to prevent the excessive importation of foreign eggs?

Mr. Morrison

I would refer my hon. Friend to recent replies, and in particular to those given to the hon. and gallant Members for the Chatham Division of Rochester (Captain Plugge) on 8th February, New Forest and Christchurch (Major Mills) and Tiverton (Lieut.-Colonel Acland - Troyte) on 16th February, and Wycombe (Sir A. Knox) on 22nd February, copies of which I am sending to my hon. Friend.

Mr. Robinson

Is the Minister aware that every delay in coming to the assistance of this industry increases the hardships of those concerned, and makes recovery more difficult?

Captain Heilgers

Will my right hon. Friend inquire into the position in regard to foreign eggs which are brought into this country, put into cold storage, and then released as new-laid eggs?

Mr. Morrison

Every egg imported into this country has to bear upon its shell a mark indicating its country of origin.

Mr. Macquisten

Does it not wash off?

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