HC Deb 24 April 1941 vol 371 cc256-7
47. Sir John Graham Kerr

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the important work upon oyster culture carried out at the Ministry's laboratory at Conway, he will take steps to encourage the planting out of young oysters in localities round our coasts rendered suitable by purity of the sea-water and abundance of the plankton upon which oysters subsist?

Mr. Hudson

Owing to the loss of supplies normally imported and the mortality caused by the severe frosts of the winter of 1939–40 young oysters are very scarce and although the breeding experiments conducted by the Ministry at Conway have been expanded this year to the fullest extent possible, the crop of young oysters is unlikely to be more than about one per cent. of the number formerly imported from France. The general shortage is such that the supply will not suffice to keep the present oyster beds in full cultivation, and in the circumstances 1 cannot see any early prospect of planting out new beds. I will, however, keep the possibility in mind pending the time when imports can be resumed.