§ 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—
§ 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 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——
§ Mr. T. Williams
The first question is not quite relevant to this Motion, but I do not see why I should not answer it.
§ 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.
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.]