§ Mr. C. BATHURST
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture (1) if he is aware that, owing to the 2268W prevailing scarcity of store cattle in Great Britain and the probability of some reduction in the importation of fat stock and meat from overseas, there is likely to be a shrinkage in the normal Home supply of meat during next spring and early summer; whether the Government are taking any steps to cope with this contingency; (2) whether, in view of the possible shortage of meat in the course of next spring and early summer and of the fact that of all farm crops those of a leguminous character, such as peas, beans, and lentils, alone afford, as flesh formers, an adequate substitute for meat; and, seeing that it is still not too late this season to sow kidney beans and possibly some other leguminous crops as a farm or garden crop, the Board will, by leaflet, notices in the Press, or otherwise, advocate the immediate adoption of such a course by farmers and gardeners?
I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Board of Agriculture. It appears from the latest returns collected by the Board that there has been a substantial increase since last year in the number of livestock in this country, and as there is no reason to anticipate any serious diminution in the supply of meat from abroad, I do not share the hon. Gentleman's fear expressed in these questions. At the same time, the suggestion with regard to leguminous crops might, I think, be considered with advantage by the Consultative Committee which the President of the Board of Agriculture has appointed.