HC Deb 25 July 1938 vol 338 c2702
54. Mr. Henry Haslam

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that upland farmers, mainly dependent on sheep and barley, are facing a very serious position; that much of the land in question is already suffering deterioration in different parts of the country; and whether he is taking this into account in framing his agricultural policy for the improvement of those lands?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I am fully aware of the position of sheep and barley producers in the upland areas, and of the desirability of maintaining soil fertility. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made during the Debate on 13th July, and in particular would remind him that the Agriculture Act, 1937, made provision for a subsidy to barley growers and to purchasers of lime and basic slag.

Mr. Haslam

Is the Minister not aware that the heavy and disastrous fall in the price of sheep makes this question very urgent?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware of the situation with regard to sheep, and the hon. Member will also appreciate that many of the factors which produce these depressed prices are entirely outside the control of the Government.