HC Deb 30 June 1938 vol 337 cc2120-1
64. Mr. Price

asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of sheep offered for sale in the home markets of England, Scotland, and Wales during the last three months for which figures are available and the same figures for the three corresponding months for last year?

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

Figures are not available of the number of sheep offered for sale in all markets in Great Britain during the periods mentioned, but with the hon. Member's permission I propose to circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table showing the numbers of sheep, including lambs, offered for sale at certain representative markets in England, Scotland and Wales during the 13 weeks ended 22nd June and during the corresponding period last year.

Mr. Price

Can the Minister say whether the drought has had any connection with the numbers coming on the market in recent weeks?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir, in my opinion it has.

Following is the table:

aware of the serious position of many farmers in North Wales, especially in the county of Denbigh, owing to the slump in the price of mutton and lamb; and whether he intends taking any steps to improve the present position?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I am fully aware of the difficulties that are being experienced by farmers in England and Wales as a result of the decline in prices of fat sheep and lambs and that these difficulties are shared by producers in North Wales and Denbigh. As regards the second part of the question, I am not in a position to add to recent replies on this subject.

Sir H. Morris-Jones

Can the Minister not exercise some of the powers which he has in regard to imports, and is he aware that in some parts of my constituency farmers are gradually becoming bankrupt on account of the drop in the price of lamb?

Mr. Morrison

In the first five months of this year, the combined imports of both mutton and lamb were nearly 150,000 cwts. less than in the corresponding period of 1937. As I have stated, I am in consultation with the Governments of the Dominions of Australia and New Zealand on the subject of reducing further the imports during the present year.

Mr. De la Bère

Is the Minister aware that the present position is felt not only by farmers in North Wales but by farmers in all parts of the country, and is he still not prepared to do anything? If he is still to stand, he cannot stand still.

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