§ Mr. WILSON-FOX
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that a number of milking cows in the Birmingham district are being slaughtered, and that the figures of certain typical herds already show a reduction in the number of animals from 435 to 325, and a decrease from the normal milk supply of 31 per cent., and that further reductions in the number of milking cows are believed to be imminent; whether he is aware that this position is attributable mainly to the following causes: that farmers' supplies of hay, clover, and roots are almost exhausted, that owing to the late season the grazing is very backward, that brewers' grains cannot now be obtained in the quantity hitherto available, and that the low price fixed for milk during the summer months, which comes into operation on 1st May, is unre-munerative in present conditions; and whether he will be prepared to take steps to remedy a condition of affairs which, if allowed to continue, must necessarily be very prejudicial to the health and welfare of the children in the Birmingham disirict?
§ Sir R. WINFREY
The President of the Board of Agriculture is aware that there is a reduction in the number of dairy cows generally, and that it is partly due to the causes stated by the hon. Member. But he is not aware that the price fixed for milk during the summer months is un-remunerative. On his advice the Food Controller has fixed the minimum price for the winter contract months of 1917–18 at a figure which it is hoped will help to maintain the dairy herds of the country.