HC Deb 11 March 1940 vol 358 cc839-40W
Colonel Baldwin-Webb

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the desirability of rapidly increasing the fertility of the land at the present time, he will consider an extension of the scheme for supplying cheap fertilisers to agriculture; whether his attention has been drawn to recent increases in the cost of fertilising material; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure their adequate use in the national interest?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I have every reason to believe that fertilisers will be used to the full extent of the available supplies and I am employing all available methods of publicity to ensure that this is done. I am aware that some increases, resulting from higher freights and other causes due to the war, have taken place in the cost of fertilisers but I would remind my hon. and gallant Friend of the Government's assurance that prices will be fixed to ensure to farmers a reasonable return on their crops having regard to costs of production. In these circumstances I do not as at present advised consider it necessary to extend the scope of the Land Fertility Scheme.