§ 18. Mr. Crouch
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware that there is a shortage of spare parts for agricultural machinery; and if he will take steps in the matter.
20. Mr. G. Wilson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the disquiet amongst farmers owing to the shortage of spare parts for farm machinery; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter.
My inquiries do not suggest any general shortage. I will investigate any particular cases brought to my notice.
§ Mr. Crouch
Is my right hon. Friend aware that in certain agricultural circles there has been a fear that there would be a shortage of spare parts at the time of the hay and corn harvest, and that his answer will now remove any misapprehension there might have been in certain quarters?
I hope it will. If my hon. Friend has any evidence of shortage, I hope that he will bring it to my notice as quickly as possible.
Has my right hon. Friend any evidence of difficulties caused by multiplicity of design and lack of standardisation in agricultural machinery?
I have a tremendously strong personal bias towards standardisation in machinery. I think we have not yet gone as far as we ought in the direction of standardisation in the design of agricultural machinery.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the problem most affecting farmers in respect of agricultural machinery is its increasing cost? Is he aware that the inflationary tendency in that field is having effects?
That is a rather different question, but the hon. Gentleman will find that the increase in the price of agricultural machinery has been very small during the last two or three years.