HC Deb 05 August 1943 vol 391 c2447
50. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will give the basis on which his Department arrived at their calculation that since the outbreak of the war there were 170 tons of foodstuffs grown in this country for every 100 tons grown prior to the outbreak of hostilities; and whether he will give an assurance that his future policy will aim at the production of 200 tons for every 100 tons grown prior to the outbreak of hostilities?

Mr. T. Williams

The increase of 70 per cent. in the net output of human food from the soil of Great Britain was not measured by weight but in terms of food values. Two calculations were made, one in calories, the other in animal and vegetable protein. Both showed a net increase in the neighbourhood of 70 per cent. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend's remarks in the Debate on 28th July.

Mr. De la Bère

Is it not imperative, in view of the world shortage of food at present, that the Government should aim at producing more and more food in this country, and is not that an additional reason for having a long-term pronouncement on agricultural policy?

Mr. Williams

That is exactly what my right hon. Friend suggested in the Debate was his policy.

Mr. De la Bère

Is it not a fact that my right hon. Friend the Minister did not give any answer at all? Did he not say that he was discussing long-term policy? Why is that sort of subterfuge adopted? Is it not deliberate that we should be eternally deceived?