HC Deb 28 October 1937 vol 328 cc250-1
74. Major Dower

asked the Minister of Agriculture what increase in the supply of lime and basic slag has occurred in this country since the introduction of the State subsidy; whether he is aware that in some areas farmers are finding it extremely difficult to obtain supplies; and what steps, if any, he intends to take to rectify this?

75. Mr. Touche

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can make a statement with regard to the progress made by the Land Fertility Committee?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

With regard to the increase in the supply of lime and basic slag since the introduction of the Land Fertility Scheme, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Hallam (Mr. L. Smith) on 21st October. On the recommendation of the Land Fertility Committee, over 300 producers and over 3,000 distributors of lime and basic slag have been approved. The facilities offered by the scheme have met with a highly satisfactory response, and more than 16,000 transactions effected under the scheme have already been the subject of applications for contribution. It is only to be expected that producers and distributors are finding some difficulty in meeting immediately the exceptional demands that are being made upon them for supplies of lime and basic slag. The Land Fertility Committee, however, have the question of supply under constant review, and I would remind my hon. Friends that the facilities offered under the scheme are available for three years certain, and may, with the approval of Parliament, be extended for a further two years.

Major Dower

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his very helpful reply, may I ask him whether he is aware of the difficulty of obtaining price quotations which many farmers are experiencing, and whether it would be possible in any way to hasten up, at any rate, quotations for the supply of lime?

Mr. Morrison

If my hon. and gallant Friend has any specific case of delay or difficulty, and will be good enough to draw my attention to it, I will see what I can do to avoid it.

Lieut.-Commander Agnew

Have the arrangements yet been completed for farmers to draw their subsidy in the form of calcareous sea sand?

Mr. Morrison

With regard to calcareous sea sand, I am glad to be able to tell my hon. and gallant Friend that a Memorandum explaining the provisions to be observed by those who wish to use this material, and the necessary application forms, will be issued this week.