HC Deb 14 October 1941 vol 374 cc1267-8W
Sir G. Jeffreys

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can make any statement as to his proposals for increasing the supply in this country in 1942 of animals fit for human food?

Mr. Hudson

The heavy reduction in imports of animal feeding-stuffs and the reduction in the grazing area consequent upon the ploughing-up campaign has made it impossible to maintain in this country the pre-war numbers of livestock, using that term in its wide sense, as including cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Government policy is designed to increase the production of crops such as wheat, potatoes and sugar beet for direct human consumption, and also for reasons both of fertility and milk and meat supply to ensure that the available supplies of fodder of all kinds and from all sources are so used as to maintain the maximum production from the maximum numbers of stock. I doubt whether it will be possible, however, with the supplies available, appreciably to increase the existing numbers.

Mr. Mainwaring

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what is the latest estimate of poultry held in the country and the numbers respectively held by owners of no more than 12, between 12 and 50, and more than 50 poultry; and whether he can give an approximate estimate of the number of eggs annually laid by each group?

Mr. Hudson

I have been asked to reply. Statistical information regarding agricultural livestock and output in wartime, like that of other stocks and output, is, in the national interest, being withheld from publication and I regret that I am accordingly unable to furnish the desired information.