HC Deb 18 May 1950 vol 475 cc1391-2
61. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that, although the sheep population of Great Britain has increased since 1947, it is still considerably below the year 1939; and whether, in view of the estimated surplus of about £2,000,000 on the sale of the 1950 clip, he will increase the price of wool, which would encourage the increased production of sheep, particularly on hill and marginal farms.

Mr. T. Williams

Yes, Sir. I am aware of the trend of the sheep population. A surplus of the dimensions referred to by the hon. Member would only arise if the present high level of world prices were maintained throughout the selling season, namely, up to the end of July, 1951. The prices of the 1950 clip published yesterday should provide a reasonable return to sheep producers.

Mr. Baldwin

If the Minister cannot give a better reply, will he at least make it known to one of his hon. Friends that guaranteed prices to farmers do not always mean the injection of more feathers into a bed?

Mr. Williams

I hope the hon. Gentleman will convey that to my hon. Friend.

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