HC Deb 16 February 1948 vol 447 cc827-8
49. Mr. Niall Macpherson

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will now reconsider the 1939 basis of allocation of poultry feedingstuffs.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Thomas Williams)

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Renton) on 26th January last.

Mr. Macpherson

Is not the Minister in a position to give some more satisfactory answer, in view of the fact that it is impossible for a person transferring from one holding to another to take his feedingstuffs with him, but has to be content with what is left of his predecessor's ration?

Mr. Williams

The whole matter is under active consideration.

Mr. Gerald Williams

Does not the Minister know that there are thousands of people in the country waiting to keep poultry? The Russian grain is coming in at the moment, and yet the Minister is not doing anything about it.

Mr. Williams

Perhaps the hon. Member is not aware that the grain is necessary to help us maintain the existing ration up to April, 1949.

Mr. Scott-Elliot

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the number of eggs delivered to packing stations during the last quarter of 1947 shows a decline of 13 per cent, on those delivered during the previous year? Does that not show that something should be done?

Mr. Williams

My hon. Friend must be aware that the reduction in the number of eggs passing through the collection centres is due to the falling off of the rations in 1946.

Lord Willoughby de Eresby

Can the Minister give an assurance that the recent egg agreement with Eire will not delay new entrants coming into the industry?