46. Mr. De la Bère
asked the Minister of Food, in view of the fact that it is estimated that 21,000,000 poultry have been slaughtered since the outbreak of the war owing to shortage of feeding-stuffs, whether he will take steps to ensure an increased allocation of feeding-stuffs for the poultry producers throughout the country?
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
I am not aware of the basis of the estimate referred to, but I would remind my hon. Friend that there is normally a seasonal decline in the number of poultry in the second half of the year. This decline was about 19,500,000 head in 1939 compared with 22,500,000 in 1938. I regret that I am unable to accept my hon. Friend's suggestion, which would have the effect of reducing the supplies of feeding-stuffs available for other classes of livestock.
Mr. De la Bère
Did not my right hon. Friend tell us yesterday that the grass was now growing, and is he not aware that the difficulties of poultry producers are growing also? Why is it that up to now no equitable distribution has taken place? Will he take steps to expedite the scheme for more equitable distribution of feeding-stuffs, because distribution is still very irregular throughout the whole country?
§ Mr. Morrison
The scheme for distributing the supplies that are available is going ahead very well, and I think matters have improved.