HC Deb 11 May 1944 vol 399 cc2081-2
49. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will instruct the war agricultural committees to modify their policy of alloting a fixed acreage for certain crops, such as potatoes, quite irrespective of the suitability of local conditions and to impress on them that it is yield, not acreage, that counts?

Mr. Hudson

No Committee has received instructions of the kind mentioned. The prime reason for the appointment of War Agricultural Committees consisting of local farmers is in order that they shall interpret policy in the light of local circumstances.

Sir W. Smithers

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many local farmers of long experience know perfectly well that to carry out an order to grow a certain crop in a certain area must be a failure and a waste of public money; and will he please ask agricultural committees to be guided by the men on the spot more than they are at present?

Mr. Hudson

No, Sir; the experience of the last four years has demonstrated beyond all doubt that a great number of people who thought they could not grow certain crops were wrong.