§ Sir R. Gower
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that farmers in parts of the country are asking about £20 per ton for hay; what is the normal peace-time price; and what advice has been given to farmers in the national interest about holding their ricks and charging high prices?
The answer to the first part of the Question is in the negative, and if my hon. Friend is aware of any case in which a price of £20 per ton has been asked for hay, he should bring it to the notice of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Food, who is responsible for the enforcement of the Hay (Control and Maximum Prices) Order, 1941. The average peace-time wholesale price of first-quality meadow hay varied between £3 15s. and £4 per ton, and of clover hay between £4 15s. and £5 per ton. Farmers have been advised that it is in the national interest that this consideration has been borne in mind in fixing the maximum prices prescribed under the Order referred to above.
§ Colonel Carver
asked the Minister of Agriculture what is the present average price of hay per ton; and what average price is regarded as likely in the coming winter months?
Prices of hay are laid clown in the Hay (Control and Maximum Prices) Order, 1941. The maximum prices on sale by a grower in stack or loose are £7 10s. per ton for meadow hay and £8 5s. per ton for clover hay. An addition of 16s. per ton is permissible when the hay is sold baled or trussed. Distributor's margins are also prescribed. Discussions are now proceeding regarding the price of hay from the 1941 crop, and an announcement will be made shortly.