HC Deb 23 February 1949 vol 461 cc1954-6

Considered in Committee [Progress, 9th February].

[Mr. BOWLES in the Chair]

Question again proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to amend the law relating to agriculture, including certain enactments relating to milk and dairies, it is expedient to authorise—

  1. (a) the making out of moneys provided by Parliament—
    1. (i) of payments in respect of calves born during the period beginning with the 21st August, 1947, and ending with 1st October, 1949, or such later date not being later than 30th September, 1951, as may be specified under the said Act of the present Session;
    2. (ii) of payments to persons maintaining centres which provide or have provided, during the period beginning with 1st October, 1947, and ending with 31st March, 1951, a service of artificial insemination for cattle from beef bulls of approved breeds;
    3. (iii) of grants or loans to persons in respect of expenses incurred, during the period beginning with 21st August, 1947, and ending with 31st March, 1952, in the conservation of grass and forage crops;
  2. (b) the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of any increase attributable to the said Act of the present Session in the sums payable out of moneys so provided under Section eleven of the Agricultural Marketing Act, 1931, to the Agricultural Marketing Fund and the Agricultural Marketing (Scotland) Fund;
  3. (c) the repayment out of moneys so provided of a part, not exceeding three-quarters, of sums paid by a local authority by way of compensation to any person for damage or loss sustained by him by reason of any prohibitions or restrictions on the sale, supply or use of milk which is infected or suspected of being infected;
  4. (d) the payment out of moneys so provided—
    1. (i) of remuneration and allowances to the chairman of any tribunal constituted under the Food and Drugs (Milk and Dairies) Act, 1944, for the hearing of objections to a refusal or cancellation of registration of a dairy farm or dairy farmer;
    2. (ii) of expenses incurred by any Minister in providing or making arrangements for the provision by other persons of facilities for training in agricultural or horticultural occupations;
    3. (iii) of any sums which apart from the said Act of the present Session would be authorised to be paid out of the Diseases of Animals Account;
  5. (e) the payment into the Exchequer—
    1. (i) of sums received by any Minister on giving up possession of land taken for 1955 agricultural purposes by virtue of powers conferred by any Defence Regulation, being sums payable by the person to whom possession is or has been given up in respect of growing crops and other matters;
    2. (ii) of sums received by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries representing the proceeds of disposal of stocks of tractors and machinery acquired by him under Section thirty-one of the Agricultural Development Act, 1939;
    3. (iii) of any sums which apart from the said Act of the present Session would be authorised to be paid into the Diseases of Animals Account;
    4. (iv) of any sums standing to the credit of the Cattle Fund."

8.10 p.m.

Brigadier Peto (Barnstaple)

I wish to ask a question in regard to the continuation of the calf subsidy. There is no doubt that the calf subsidy has been most successful as a temporary expedient, but in the next two years will there not be a tendency, as a result of the subsidy, for the numbers of yearlings and two-year-old store cattle considerably to increase? Will there not be a tendency, therefore, for the prices to decrease? In other words, unless some scale of increases for the finished article is provided for, the subsidy we are now about to continue will be offset by a corresponding fall in the price of beef.

My second question is this: The object of the calf subsidy and the artificial insemination free service, for which we are to devote certain moneys, is to increase the number of head of beef cattle. The artificial insemination service at less than 25s. is at present restricted to certain breeds. Will the Minister consider including Devons in the breeds for this free service?

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. and gallant Member cannot now make a Second Reading speech but must confine himself to the Money Resolution.

Brigadier Peto

I bow to your Ruling, Mr. Bowles. I was afraid that I should be getting out of Order. I will conclude by asking, if the object of these subsidies is to increase beef production, whether the Minister will not consider giving an increased price, either on a sliding scale——

The Deputy-Chairman

Order, order.

Mr. T. Williams

The first question is not quite relevant to this Motion, but I do not see why I should not answer it.

The Deputy-Chairman

I am afraid that I do.

Major Sir Thomas Dugdale (Richmond)

This brings out the difficulty we are in with this Money Resolution, and I ask the Minister how we can best get over it. During the Second Reading of the Bill the Minister said that so far as the calf subsidy was concerned he was open to suggestions from all sides, and we should like to make some suggestions, which I imagine will vary according to the different areas, but I do not see how we shall be able to do so when when we come to the Committee stage if we have passed this Money Resolution.

The Deputy-Chairman

I gather that there is an overall amount for the subsidies, and I dare say Members will be able to press their claims for various proportions of the lump sum. It is impossible to make Second Reading speeches now on a subject that is outside this Money Resolution.

Mr. T. Williams

The existing scheme extends to September, when we shall be in a position to extend it further and to listen to any suggestions that are made.

Resolution to be reported Tomorrow.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. Wilkins.]