HC Deb 23 January 1941 vol 368 cc315-6W
Sir G. Fox

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that peas, runner beans, marrows, lettuce and carrots were all ploughed into the land last summer, owing to excess of production and low prices, he will take steps to avoid such action in 1941?

Mr. Hudson

The Government's policy for commercial vegetable production in 1941 has been communicated to County War Agricultural Executive Committees and has also been published. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of the relevant Press notice. Advice to "amateur" growers, based on this policy, is contained in the Ministry's leaflets and is being disseminated through the various organisations concerned with advice to private gardeners and allotment holders. It should be remembered, however, that except where a guaranteed market is provided growers must be guided by their anticipation of public demand. I can only advise them as to the crops which appear likely to be of most importance from the national standpoint. Further, if sufficient production of perishable vegetables of the kind indicated by my hon. Friend is to be assured, the possibility of a surplus—such as not infrequently occurs in normal times—cannot be ruled out. I would add that the position last summer was by no means so serious as my hon. Friend's Question suggests. Green peas and runner beans were not wasted, but allowed to mature crops of seed, which would otherwise have been in short supply owing to the cessation of imports. The demand for carrots has increased, and the whole crop will be needed before the season is ended.

Captain Plugge

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has consulted the Domestic Poultry-Keepers Council as to the desirability of giving advice on the kinds of vegetables most suitable for feeding to poultry if not required for human consumption; and what reply has been made?

Mr. Hudson

Yes, Sir, and a leaflet dealing with this matter is in course of preparation.