HC Deb 05 March 1940 vol 358 cc203-4
45. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Prime Minister whether he will find time for the Motion standing in the name of the hon. Member for Evesham relating to agriculture?

[That this House welcomes the authoritative statement this month by the Prime Minister regarding the way out of the dilemma with which agriculture is faced, notes the suggested solution to increase home production of food, together with the necessary feeding-stuffs for livestock, urges on the Government the necessity of making adequate provision and equitable distribution of feeding-stuffs for the period March to September, 1940, during which the crops from the 2,000,000 extra acres are not available; indicates to the Government that unless more practical and realistic measures are taken immediately to tackle the feeding-stuff problem the livestock population of the country will be materially reduced, is of opinion that the fundamental cause of the present position is attributable to the milling combines, and calls on the Government to have an immediate inquiry made into their methods and practices, both prior to, and since, the outbreak of war.]

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

I fear that I can hold out no hope of specialfacilities being given for the discussion of the Motion standing in the name of my hon. Friend.

Mr. De la Bère

Has not the Prime Minister quite recently told chairmen of the war county agricultural committees what the Government require of them, and is he aware that there is no concrete and crystallised scheme to enable farmers to carry out what the Government require of them, and will he be good enough to have an inquiry made into whether or not the milling combines were the root cause of the feeding-stuffs muddle?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Member's Question has no relation to the merits of the Motion and is merely whether I can find time for it. I have replied that I cannot.

Mr. A. Jenkins

May I ask the Prime Minister whether he informed agriculturists that industrialists were making huge profits and whether he guaranteed them the same?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.