HC Deb 11 August 1947 vol 441 cc1907-8
14. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Food in view of the critical situation what steps he is now taking to increase purchases of feedingstuffs in order to stimulate meat, milk and egg production in this country.

Mr. Strachey

We have already succeeded in buying much more feedingstuffs than we were able to get last year. As the House knows this has already enabled my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture to increase the livestock rations. We shall buy more feedingstuffs as they are available. We are also taking very active steps to get the quantities already bought shipped to this country, which has been a difficult matter.

Mr. Turton

Is the Minister aware that to enable agriculture to respond to the Prime Minister's appeal, it is essential that he should be more successful than in the past in purchasing feedingstuffs or, alternatively, to hand it over to private enterprise?

Mr. Spence

Can the Minister say whether arrangements have now been made to secure the 500,000 tons of wheat offals from Canada arising from our wheat agreement with her, in that we take so much of it in flour? Has that been secured?

Mr. Strachey

No, Sir. By far the greater part of the wheat under the Canadian wheat contract, comes here in the form of wheat, not flour, and the offals are, therefore, available.

Major Sir Thomas Dugdale

Does the Minister realise that there is urgency in this matter; that the increase announced recently by the Minister of Agriculture does not touch the fringe of the problem, and that much more imports are required before we can get the pigs, bacon and eggs we require to reach the Prime Minister's target?

Mr. Strachey

I am sure that the whole Government realise that there is no more urgent problem for agriculture than this. Fortunately, larger quantities of feedingstuffs are at last becoming available in the world, but the cereal shortage in the world is by no means over. We cannot get as much as we should like by any means.

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