HC Deb 09 November 1939 vol 353 cc411-2
49. Mr. W. Roberts

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that the ploughing-out campaign requires a considerable amount of fencing to be done by farmers, he will arrange for adequate supplies of wire to be made available?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I understand that steps are being taken, within the limits of the available manufacturing capacity, to accumulate stocks of wire in the hands of the trade to meet the anticipated demand for various purposes including farm fencing. If any instances of difficulty in obtaining fencing wire are brought to my notice, I will be glad to examine them in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply.

Mr. Roberts

Is it not a fact that at the present time firms are being rationed to 50 per cent. of their normal requirements, and that this is preventing farmers from carrying out the necessary repairs?

Lord Apsley

May I ask my right hon. and gallant Friend whether, in order to provide against the danger of soil erosion in upland ploughlands, he will consider the alternative of encouraging the growth of hedges, digging of ditches, and building of stone walls?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

There are difficulties about wire fencing, but I am in close touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply, and we will do the best we can. The other point is of vital importance, and is also receiving my attention.