HC Deb 24 January 1940 vol 356 cc581-2
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 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.