HC Deb 03 November 1947 vol 443 cc1335-6
49. Mr. Vernon Bartlett

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps are being taken to improve the supply of tractor tyres and agricultural equipment, which are essential if the production of food is to be substantially increased.

50. Mr. J. H. Hare

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that there is an acute shortage of tractor tyres; and what steps he is taking to make these available in greater quantities.

56. Mr. Medlicott

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that the shortage of heavy tyres for farm tractors and for lorries continues in the County of Norfolk; and what steps are being taken to overcome this shortage at an early date.

64. Mr. E. P. Smith

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that agricultural production is being held up in many areas owing to the shortage of tractor tyres; and what he is doing to increase the supply to the farming community.

Mr. G. Brown

The production of tractor and lorry tyres is steadily improving, and I hope that sufficient supplies for all needs will be available soon. My Department is in constant touch with the Board of Trade and the tyre manufacturers on the matter. Available supplies both of tractor and lorry tyres are being evenly distributed. With regard to supplies of agricultural equipment I would refer the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Bartlett) to the reply that my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Ely (Major Legge-Bourke) and the hon. Member for Hertford (Mr. Walker-Smith) on 27th October.

Mr. Bartlett

Would my hon. Friend bring the suggestion to his right hon. colleague, as tactfully as he can, that there is a growing feeling among the farming community that the Minister is much too gentle in dealing with these matters? Will he take an intensive course in roaring like a lion, so that his colleagues in the Cabinet take some notice?

Mr. Brown

I will represent that to my right hon. Friend, but it would be untrue to suggest that that is the general feeling. My own impression is that there is a feeling in the country that we are now getting a much bigger share of what is going than perhaps used to be the case.

Mr. Hare

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it is time his Ministry got together with the Minister of Supply and gave the farmers tractor tyres and ploughshares so that they can get on with the ploughing for the next harvest?

Mr. Brown

May I give one figure? The production of tractor tyres in September last was 35,900, which was 25 per cent. more than the highest previous monthly output and about two-thirds of the total output for the last quarter of 1946, so that we are getting a considerable output.

Mr. York

Is the Minister aware that in spite of the fact that there are a certain number of tyres available, there are no rims on which to put the tyres; will he, therefore, ask his right hon. Friend to get some steel to make the rims, because it is no use having the tyres without the rims?

Mr. Brown

If the hon. Gentleman will put a Question down, we can give as satisfactory an answer as we have given to the others.

Mr. E. P. Smith

Mr. Speaker, I have an identical Question, No. 114 on the Order Paper. The Minister has not answered my Question. Does that mean that he would have given a different answer had that Question been reached.

Mr. Speaker

We have not yet got to Question No. 114.

Mr. Smith

I must apologise to you and the Minister, Mr. Speaker. I find that my Question was No. 64.

Mr. Speaker

If I remember rightly, I looked at Question No. 114 and could not see the connection. I think Question No. 64 was answered by the Minister.