HC Deb 23 March 1950 vol 472 cc2166-7
60. Mr. G. Williams

asked the Minister of Agriculture when he expects to be able to lift the control on the minimum number of store poultry that can be sent to market

Mr. T. Williams

I regret that I cannot say when it will be possible to withdraw this regulation, but it now applies only in the areas around London and four other industrial centres in England and Wales.

Mr. G. Williams

Is the Minister aware that the number is 25, and that it is very difficult for small poultry keepers to muster 25 birds to send away to sell? As fowl pest is now receding, will he take off the restriction as soon as he can, to help the small poultry keepers?

Mr. T. Williams

I do not think we should be wise to withdraw any of these regulations until we feel sure that fowl pest is no longer with us.

63. Mr. Nugent

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that the small increase in rations announced for poultry is not sufficient to enable poultry keepers to play their full part in expanding production; and if he will give further consideration to the needs of the poultry industry, and particularly special producers, and say when he expects that increased allocations will be possible

Mr. T. Williams

The increases in rations announced a week ago are the most that supply considerations at present permit. I am well aware of the needs of poultry keepers, including the specialist producers, and their claims will be given sympathetic consideration when the possibility of a further improvement in ration scales is reviewed towards the end of the summer. I also recognise, as I believe do many producers, that additional supplies of feedingstuffs, by increasing the output of eggs, will enable unit costs of production to be reduced.

Brigadier Prior-Palmer

Is the Minister aware that the price of feedingstuffs for poultry has now fallen below the control point? Is that not an indication that these rations should be taken off?

Mr. Williams

No, Sir.