HC Deb 13 March 1941 vol 369 cc1423-4
56. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he is taking to ensure that an adequate supply of milk will be maintained?

Mr. Hudson

Dairy cows receive priority in the allocation of feeding-stuffs under the rationing scheme, and every encouragement is being given to dairy farmers in the ploughing-up campaign to become more self-supporting and to safeguard supplies of feed next winter by making silage and growing suitable fodder crops for their herds. In addition, the Government have recently announced prices for milk during the ensuing 12 months which are designed to maintain production at the highest level compatible with war conditions.

Mr. Lipson

Has my right hon. Friend seen a letter from Lord Dawson of Penn which appeared in the "Times" on Monday, and can he assure the House that there is complete co-operation between his Department, the Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Health on the question of food supplies?

Mr. Hudson

I am aware of the fact that Lord Dawson of Penn wrote that letter under a complete misapprehension. It is indisputable that an acre of corn will feed a cow better than an acre of grass.

Mr. Garro Jones

In view of the rather inadequate response by farmers to the appeals for the making of silage, will my right hon. Friend consider setting up an organisation of mobile workers to construct silos and make silage on farms throughout the country?

Mr. Hudson

I cannot accept that there is any lack of response on the part of farmers in regard to the making of silage. Owing to the drought, there was no grass to make silage; a great many farmers had made preparations beforehand, as a result of our propaganda campaign, only to find no grass available. The campaign will be repeated this spring, and I hope to obtain something of the order of 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 tons.