Mr. T. Williams
The target wheat acreage for England and Wales in 1951 is 12½ per cent. higher than for this year. The percentage increase for many individual counties is greater than that, but for no English county is it as high as 50 per cent. County agricultural executive committees decide what increase can reasonably be asked of any individual farmer, and naturally do so with due regard to the rules of good husbandry.
§ Mr. Hurd
May I show the Minister the letter that I and other farmers have received from the Chairman of my County Agricultural Executive Committee? Further, is he satisfied that the extra three-quarters of a million acres of wheat which he has asked the farmers to grow, in addition to barley and other coarse grains, can be done without outraging the fertility of our soil?
The advice of all the technicians on the subject is that the acreage both for wheat and coarse grains can be obtained without vitiating the rules of good husbandry.
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke
In view of the increasing supplies of grain throughout the whole world and the prospects of large importations of grain into this country from many places not only in the dollar area, ought not immediate consideration to be given to a revision of the agricultural programme in order that we can concentrate more on the production of milk products and livestock?
No, Sir, because there is no guarantee that this country can import from one source or another the amount of feedingstuffs that will be necessary once our livestock have increased to the numbers we desire. Indeed, the only certainty there is about feedingstuffs is the certainty of those that we grow ourselves, while importing as much feeding-stuffs as we can afford from any source where they happen to be available.