HC Deb 07 April 1930 vol 237 cc1797-9W

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent the recommendations of the Council of Agriculture for England adopted on 31st October, 1929, have been accepted and acted upon; whether any further action is contemplated; and whether it is proposed to set up area selling organisations as suggested in the economic series published by the Ministry?


The report on the marketing of home-grown wheat, barley and oats adopted by the Council of Agriculture for England at its meeting on 31st October, 1929, covers a wide field, and it is only possible to give a general indication of the position in reply to the hon. and gallant Baronet's question. Seven principal recommendations were put forward. The first two are in the nature of advice to farmers to limit varieties of cereals sown and to seedsmen to limit new varieties put upon the market. The third recommendation relates to improved methods of marketing. The fourth is for a campaign carrying to the British public the information that home-grown wheat flour for bread-making, malting barley for malt, malt flours, and malt extracts, and home-grown oats for feeding are the best to be obtained; the Ministry has already set such a campaign on foot, and no opportunity of carrying forward such propaganda is neglected. The fifth recommendation, for farmers to combine for the purposes of the first, second and third recommendations above, and for the sale of bulked grain, is addressed to the industry itself. The sixth recommendation, for the Government to provide storage for home-grown grain to help any farmers' scheme of orderly marketing, is incidental to the wider question of marketing organisation, as a whole, which is being carefully considered by the Government. The seventh, that the Government should set up an inquiry into the feasibility of requiring a maximum moisture for bread and as to the need for the use of bleaching and other chemicals in flours, is one which is being considered with other suggestions for increasing the use of all-English flours. The question whether any action to facilitate the setting up of area selling organisations can usefully be taken by the Government is receiving careful attention, but I am not in a position to make a statement on the subject.