HC Deb 14 December 1939 vol 355 cc1264-6
60. Sir Ralph Glyn

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he has taken to organise the establishment of pig clubs throughout the country; whether he is aware that the present shortage of feeding-stuffs has produced a situation of extreme gravity; that pig producers are faced with the alternative of either slaghtering two-thirds of their stock or obtaining from other sources suitable food; and whether he will, in collaboration with the Minister of Food, the Minister of Supply, and the Minister of Health, circulate to all local authorities a request that immediate steps be taken to collect swill and other waste products, that this be treated in such a way as to provide feed for breeding sows and weaner pigs, and thus, by eliminating waste, enable pig producers not to reduce but to increase their herds?

Sir W. Womersley

My right hon. Friend, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is sending the hon. Member a copy of a Press notice issued by his Department on 24th November from which he will see that an independent body, known as the Small Pig Keepers' Council, was set up on that date for the purpose of fostering the pig club movement throughout the country. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply has already circularised local authorities urging them "to take immediate steps to establish an effective system for the collection of waste," and as indicated in his reply to the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) on 23rd November, my right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Agriculture will take all possible steps to supplement that appeal so far as it concerns waste food suitable for pig and poultry breeding.

Mr. Shinwell

Where is the Minister this morning?

Sir Percy Harris

Has anything been done by way of the collection of waste? We seem to have the greatest difficulty in the collection of waste.

Mr. Macquisten

Have it broadcast to households to collect their spare food. There is enough spare food in this country to feed all the pigs that we need.

80. Sir R. Glyn

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the importance of encouraging pig clubs throughout the country; and whether he will give local authorities instructions to waive restrictions imposed by recent legislation that prevent cottagers keeping a pig within so many yards of a dwelling-house?

Mr. Elliot

I am aware of the importance in present circumstances of facilitating the keeping of pigs in the interests of increased food production, and I have recently addressed to local authorities a circular, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy, concerning the keeping of pigs by tenants of their housing estates. I do not know exactly to what recent legislation my hon. Friend refers, but I believe that by-laws concerning pig-keeping seldom impose any condition as to the distance from a dwelling-house within which pigs may be kept, provided they are kept in a clean and wholesome condition.

Sir R. Glyn

Will my right hon. Friend, if I send him instances of where this condition exists, do his best to remove it?

Mr. Elliot

I will certainly examine them, but I think we are agreed that pigs should be kept in clean and wholesome places.

Mr. De la Bère

Will my right hon. Friend take some action in the matter?