§ 54. Mr. Rhys Davies
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is aware that poultry keepers in Lancashire have been without feeding-stuffs 582 for several weeks; that his Department has advised them to get in touch with the Lancashire Food Controller at Blackburn but without result; and whether he will assist in this connection, and when?
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
I am of course aware of the shortage of feeding-stuffs for poultry keepers in Lancashire and elsewhere, but I am glad to say that there has recently been a considerable improvement in the supply situation and increased quantities of cereal feeding-stuffs are being released to the trade.
§ Mr. Glenvil Hall
Although it is true that in the West Riding, for example, supplies have slightly increased, the price has become exceedingly high and complaints are now reaching me and I expect other hon. Members on this point? Can nothing be done?
§ Mr. Morrison
The price of feeding stuffs is controlled and if the hon. Member knows of any case of excessive prices being charged, I hope he will bring it to my notice. I have investigated about no such cases and in five of these I found the complaint was justified.
§ Sir R. Acland
Would it not be better to make a definite announcement that it is a deliberate and a necessary part of the Government's war policy to reduce the number of poultry in this country by nearly 50 per cent.?
§ Mr. Morrison
Without accepting the hon. Member's figure, I would call attention to the statement made by my right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Agriculture and I would also point out that the matter is to be debated.