HC Deb 22 October 1942 vol 383 cc2097-8
54. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will consider the possibility of prolonging the period for the grant of a 75 per cent. subsidy towards the cost of lime as many farmers who ordered lime as long ago as May were, through no fault of their own, unable to obtain delivery till after the expiration of the time limit?

Mr. Hudson

No, Sir. The increase in the lime subsidy from the normal 50 per cent. to 75 per cent. for summer deliveries was not intended primarily as a measure of additional assistance to farmers. Its object was to safeguard supplies by ensuring that lime producers had orders sufficient to enable them to keep their works in full production during a period when the agricultural demand for lime is usually at its lowest and thereby to retain labour which otherwise they would have had to lose. That object was fully achieved and the additional subsidy cannot be extended to deliveries after 31st August.

Sir A. Knox

Surely it is very hard on farmers who sent in their orders early? I have cases of two farmers who sent in their orders several months before the expiry of the time and did not get delivery, and is it not hard lines that they should have to pay extra for their lime?

Mr. Hudson

I am afraid that in wartime we cannot avoid hard lines.