HC Deb 28 February 1940 vol 357 cc2068-9
64. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Food whether, in connection with the supply of feeding-stuffs to grain merchants and corn dealers throughout the country districts, he is aware that these dealers are still unable to supply their customers with even 30 per cent. of their normal requirements; and whether he will make some statement to clarify the whole position?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I cannot accept the general statement contained in the first part of the Question, so far as the country as a whole is concerned. If my hon. Friend has the county of Worcester in mind, I would refer him to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnor (Mr. Jackson) on 21st February, which applies to that county also.

Mr. De la Bère

Was not my right hon. Friend quite recently Minister of Agriculture, and should he not therefore know something about the feeding-stuffs position? He cannot annihilate the truth by trying to snub me.

77. Mr. Ridley

asked the Minister of Food whether he intends to take any further steps to ensure a fairer distribution of livestock feeding-stuffs?

57. Mr. Pearson

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the acute shortage of cattle foods in Wales; that farmers are not receiving nearly the 66⅔ per cent. basis promised by the Ministry of Food; and will he make added provision for Welsh farmers, in view of the fact that in past years very little food was produced by themselves for their own use?

Mr. Morrison

Efforts are continually being made to secure an equitable distribution of feeding-stuffs, having regard to the Government's policy of giving preference to certain classes of livestock and certain groups of producers. Returns are now being received from the distributing dealers in feeding-stuffs giving particulars of their pre-war trade, and these will be used for the purpose in question. With regard to the position in Wales, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 21st February to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnor (Mr. Jackson) and the hon. and gallant Member for Tiverton (Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte).

Viscountess Astor

Seeing that war has been likely since Munich, whose fault is it that there was no storage of feeding-stuffs? Might I have an answer?

Mr. Morrison

I would refer the Noble Lady to the statement made on this matter on 25th January, in which she will see all the circumstances set out.

Viscountess Astor

That statement was most unsatisfactory, and not quite true.

Mr. H. Morrison

Was the Noble Lady aware that war was likely after Munich, at the time of Munich?