§ Mr. LESLIE SCOTT
asked the Food Controller (1) how many million forms (L.F.S. 1) for the supply of concentrated feeding-stuffs under the Cattle Feeding-Stuffs (Distribution) Order, 1918, were printed and on what basis was that figure determined; and when and through what agency they were distributed:
(2) Whether he is aware that application forms (L.F.S. 1) for concentrated feeding-stuffs under the Cattle Feeding-stuffs (Distribution) Order, 1918, made on the 14th instant, which forbids the purchase of any feeding-stuffs whatever after the 17th November next unless application is lodged by the 1st November, have been so distributed that, whilst the private traders and manufacturers have received abundant supplies of such forms, the farmers' co-operative societies have received inadequate supplies, so that their members have been obliged to leave them and register with private traders; whether he can state approximately how many were printed and how many were sent to the agricultural co-operative 1478W societies and why a step so prejudicial to agricultural co-operation has been taken by the Ministry; and whether farmers who, under the above circumstances, have registered with traders and desire to transfer their registration to a co-operative society will be allowed to do so immediately; and
(3) Whether his attention has been called to a telegram received by the Agricultural Organisation Society from the Preston Farmers' Society on 24th October, stating that only twenty L.F.S. I forms had been received, although they required at least 2,000, and had made repeated applications to the commissioner at Chester without result, and that the members were registering with competitors who have an unlimited supply of forms; and whether he is now in a position to make any statement on the subject?
§ Major ASTOR
About 1,200,000 application forms for supplies of concentrated feeding-stuffs have been printed and distributed to the various live stock areas through the agency of the Live Stock Organisation of the Ministry of Food, which has issued supplies to all licensed dealers; the number of forms printed was calculated according to the estimated number of persons entitled to apply thereon, an ample margin being allowed for all contingencies; the bulk of the forms were dispatched before the middle of October. I regret that information with regard to the number of forms sent to agricultural co-operative societies is not available. The Food Controller is not aware of any foundation for the suggestion that application forms have been distributed inequitably as between private traders and agricultural co-operative societies. Owing to extreme difficulties in printing and railway transport, some forms were late in reaching their destination, but all forms have been distributed equitably as they have been received among all dealers, private and co-operative. I understand that the Preston Farmers' Society has now received a full supply of application forms. With regard to the registration of farmers with licensed dealers, it is hoped that it will be possible to allow any farmer who has good reason for wishing to change his supplier to do so at the end of a period of ten weeks.
§ Colonel WHELER
asked the Food Controller whether there are only about 70,000 tons of cattle-feeding cake in this country at the present time as compared with the 1479W 350,000 tons in farmers' hands at this time last year; whether all the certificates issued for cake up to November will have to be withdrawn; and, if so, whether he can make any statement as to the probable supplies of cattle and pig-feeding stuffs available for the months of December, January, and February?
§ Major ASTOR
The figures quoted in the first part of the question are approximately correct; the answer to the second part is in the negative. It is anticipated that actual and prospective supplies will enable the prescribed rations to be satisfied.
§ Mr. BOLAND
asked the Food Controller on what date the arrangement was come to that Ireland should be supplied with 12 per cent. of the feeding-stuffs available, with arrears from 1st June; whether this quantity is below the amount to which Ireland is entitled, in view of the numbers of live stock in the respective countries; and is he aware that even the 12 per cent. is not being supplied while British stock owners are receiving their proportion?
§ Major ASTOR
The agreement whereby Ireland is allotted 12 per cent. of the available supply of cattle cakes and meals was made on 1st August, 1918, between representatives of the Irish Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Food, the allocation to the various parts of the United Kingdom being based on the consumption of these feeding-stuffs in the year 1913. Owing to the reduced imports, the British stock owner has not received since 1st August the full supply which was anticipated when the agreement was made. Consequently the supplies to Ireland have fallen proportionately. It is hoped to make good the arrears due to Ireland in respect of the months of June and July.