HC Deb 11 February 1946 vol 419 cc26-7
51. Lieut-Colonel Mackeson

asked the Minister of Agriculture why it is still impossible to deliver basic slag to the farmers and merchants in East Kent; when deliveries may be expected to recommence; and what arrangements have been made to increase the allocation of superphosphates.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Thomas Williams)

Owing to congestion on the railways, delay has occurred from time to time in the transport of basic slag by rail into the South East area. My information is, however, that substantial quantities of this fertiliser have nevertheless been moved into East Kent during the present fertiliser season and that further deliveries are being made by sea as well as by rail. As regards the last part of the Question, ample supplies of superphosphate and other alternative phosphatic fertilisers are available in the South East area for farmers who want phospate and cannot get basic slag.

Lieut.-Colonel Mackeson

Would the Minister investigate this question of the distribution of fertilisers, in view of the fact that superphosphates come from Scotland to Kent, sugar beet from Nor-folk to Kent and potatoes from Lincolnshire to Kent, and basic slag comes from Lincolnshire? I cannot understand why there has been a shortage of basic slag in the South East area.

Mr. Williams

It is clear that while basic slag must be withdrawn from Lincolnshire to East Sussex or Kent, it is because of a congestion on the railways that there has been any shortage at all.

Lieut.-Colonel Mackeson

Scotland is further off than Lincolnshire.