§ 4.10 p.m.
§ THE EARL OF HUNTINGDON
My Lords, this Order is to stop the amount of tillage falling and, in consequence, a greater amount of grassland growing. I can assure your Lordships that this is not intended to be used drastically against farmers in general, but only against those few farmers who are not playing their part in the production drive. I am sure your Lordships will all agree that in these days we need the maximum amount of tillage but unfortunately the figures for Scotland, as well as those for England and Wales, have been falling rapidly. In fact, the tillage in Scotland has fallen since the war by 226,000 acres. As a further indication of the trend, we find that, while in 1948 10,000 acres went down to grass, in 1949 there were 75,000 acres, which is a great increase, and rather a serious and worrying one. For this reason, and because of the importance of supplying feeding stuffs and being as self-supporting as we can, it was considered 1617 necessary to have this power to be used in these exceptional cases. In view of the extreme urgency of growing more grain, both for human consumption and animal feeding stuffs, I hope your Lordships will agree to this Order. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Special Order, as reported from the Special Orders Committee on Tuesday November 29 last, be approved.—(The Earl of Huntingdon.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.