HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 cc2291-3
49. Mr. Crouch

asked the Minister of Agriculture what is the estimated percentage increase in agricultural output for the United Kingdom for each year of the years from 1939–40 to 1950–51, taking the pre-war index figure of 100.

Mr. T. Williams

As the reply comprises a table of figures, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following are the figures:

Volume of net output in the United Kingdom as a percentage of the average of 1936–37 to 1938–39
1939–40 108
1940–41 111
1941–42 105
1942–43 120
1943–44 125
1944–45 120
1945–46 121
1946–47 116
1947–48 122
1948–49 134
1949–50 139

Figures for 1950–51 are not yet available. All these figures relate to the volume of gross output less imports of feedingstuffs, livestock and seeds, and to the output from agricultural holdings over 1 acre (or over ¼ acre in Northern Ireland). The inclusion of holdings under 1 acre (or ¼ acre) such as gardens, allotments, pig clubs, etc., would raise the 1949–50 index number to 141 per cent. of pre-war.

50. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will make a statement upon agricultural production in 1951–52, in view of the reduction of farm subsidies on 1st May, 1951, and 1st July, 1951, the increased acreage of agricultural land to be used for open-cast coal mining, the call-up of agricultural workers for His Majesty's Forces and the shortage of tinplate and packaging materials for the horticultural industry.

Mr. T. Williams

The factors referred to by the hon. Member comprise four out of a number which may influence the volume of agricultural production in 1951–52. While not minimising their potential effect I see no reason to expect any significant check during 1951–52 to the continued progress towards achievement of the agricultural expansion programme begun in 1947.

Mr. Nabarro

How can the right hon. Gentleman reconcile his exhortations for higher production with the continuous aggravation to the farming community which is inherent in the matters referred to in the Question?

Mr. Williams

On the basis of experience, because output goes up and up and up.

Mr. Turton

Now that these special measures are being done away with, will the right hon. Gentleman work out his plans to give proper consideration to men working in difficult conditions in marginal areas?

Mr. Williams

We are always working out plans, and generally, the plans have been effective.

Mr. De la Bère

But never a word of thanks.

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