HC Deb 03 November 1947 vol 443 cc144-5W
62. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture what proportion of the steel to be allocated in 1948 for the manufacture of agricultural machinery and equipment will be absorbed by the export trade if the export targets set to manufacturers are attained in full.

Mr. G. Brown

Allocations of steel for agricultural machinery and equipment have not yet been determined for 1948. Rather less than one-half of manufacturers' estimated full steel requirements would be required to meet the agricultural machinery export targets. The remainder would enable the average monthly quantity going into the home market to be nearly doubled as compared with the average for the first nine months of 1947.

Mr. Charles Smith

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will break down the production and export targets for agricultural machinery (for mid-1948 and the end of 1948) into the categories used in Table 62 of the September Digest of Statistics.

Mr. T. Williams

The export targets for agricultural machinery are derived from broad estimates of output, based on manufacturers' plans, and the assumption that all the necessary facilities will be available for their achievement. Manufacturers' programmes for the many items covered and the plans of individual manufacturers are still under review, and it is expected that a number of points will need to be discussed further with the manufacturers. I regret that it is not practicable to break down the targets at all reliably at present into detailed categories. I can say, however, that more than half the target depends on output of tractors; that it is estimated that implements and accessories expected to be sold in close association with these tractors would amount, in addition, to about one-third the value of the tractors; and that other machinery would account for rather less than one-quarter of the total.

Mr. Medlicott

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware of the shortage in the supply of agricultural machinery, spare parts and ploughshares in the county of Norfolk and elsewhere; and what steps are being taken to overcome these shortages.

Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Agriculture, in view of his appeal for increased food production, if he is aware that farmers are being frustrated by their inability to obtain farm machinery and spare parts; and if he will take the necessary steps to ensure that these necessary supplies are the first priority.

Mr. T. Williams

I am aware that some items of agricultural machinery, certain spare parts, and shares for some makes of ploughs are scarce in Norfolk and in other counties. With regard to the last part of each Question, I would refer the hon. Members to the replies that I gave to the hon. and gallant Members for the Isle of Ely (Major Legge-Bourke), Totnes (Brigadier Rayner), and the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) on 27th October.

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