HC Deb 04 April 1949 vol 463 cc1689-90
45. Mr. William Paling

asked the Prime Minister if, in view of the fact that it is impossible to get sufficient pig feedingstuffs from non-dollar sources, he will discuss with the Chancellor of the Exchequer the advisability of setting dollars aside for this purpose with a view to stimulating the desire in the country to implement bacon and pork supplies.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

No, Sir. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury gave to the hon. Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bère) on 31st March.

Mr. Paling

The Prime Minister is not unaware of the need for producing more meat in this country, and would not the spending of dollars on feedingstuffs be a most valuable investment, the return from which would be quick and for the benefit of this country?

The Prime Minister

Perhaps the hon. Member will study the reply given by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, which will give him a very full answer.

Mr. Frank Byers

Is the Prime Minister aware that many of us have studied that reply; is he not also aware that the Economic Survey for 1947 specifically stated that £1,000 worth of feedingstuffs would save the import of £2,000 worth of finished products, and in those circumstances is it not wise now to consider spending dollars on feedingstuffs instead of on bacon, ham and eggs?

The Prime Minister

I have nothing to add to the reply. The hon. Member will realise that feedingstuffs will not provide bacon next week.

Mr. Hugh Fraser

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware of the pledge given by the Lord President of the Council, in 1947, that if need be, dollars would be spent on feedingstuffs?

Mr. Gerald Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us why, if he considers it economic to buy raw materials for other industries, it is not an economic proposition to buy raw materials for the agricultural industry?

The Prime Minister

It is economic, and we are buying a great deal; it is a question of the amount.

Mr. De la Bère

It is No. 1 priority.