HC Deb 12 April 1948 vol 449 cc612-3
48. Mr. Gooch

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will increase the alloca- tion of American crawler tractors or their satisfactory English equivalent to Norfolk, without which many farmers in the country are apprehensive of not being able to make their full contribution towards Norfolk's food production targets.

Mr. T. Williams

I hope that supplies of a British crawler tractor will become available later this year and a considerable number have just been allocated to Norfolk. We are also obtaining such crawler tractors as we can get from the United States, but these are very scarce. The allocations so far made to Norfolk, as to other counties, are the best that supplies will allow, and I think we can rely on Norfolk farmers to do their best with them.

Mr. Gooch

May I ask if the Minister is satisfied that the export of agricultural machinery is not on such a scale as to be detrimental to our own farming?

Mr. Williams

That does not apply to British crawler tractors since we have already ordered from the United States for this year something over 800, of which, unfortunately, only 91 have arrived.

Major Sir Thomas Dugdale

Can the Minister inform the House what British firms are now making crawler tractors?

Mr. Williams

Not without notice.