HC Deb 15 December 1948 vol 459 c1213
55. Sir Ian Fraser

asked the Minister of Food how much rationed food did a hen receive in 1946. 1947 and during the present year.

Dr. Summerskill

It is impossible to give figures for hens alone, but the total Winter rations of feedingstuffs for pigs and poultry in Great Britain have increased as follow, taking the winter 1946–47 as an index basis: 1946–47—100; 1947–48—237.4; 1948–49—321.5. The last figure is a provisional estimate.

Sir I. Fraser

Is the hon. Lady aware that on 17th November, her master, the Minister, said that hens were receiving three times as much rations as last year? How was he able to distinguish between hens and others on that occasion, if she cannot do so now?

Dr. Summerskill

The amount of poultry food and pig food distributed last Spring was three times the amount distributed in the previous Spring and I think my right hon. Friend, not my master, was thinking of that.

Mr. Eden

Can the hon. Lady say how it is that the hens do not seem to be more grateful?

Dr. Summerskill

They are. The right hon. Gentleman is quite wrong, the hens are very active and energetic.

Mr. Chetwynd

Will the Minister transfer this system of feeding hens by results to other sections of the population?

Mr. Gallacher

Does the hon. Lady find any subversive activities on the part of red hens?