HC Deb 23 April 1951 vol 487 cc24-5W
130. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent it is the policy of his Department to encourage further large-scale slaughter of birds for table poultry during the remainder of 1951; whether the egg production of the United Kingdom is expected during 1951 to equal or exceed the 1950 figures; and what steps he is taking to remedy shell egg numerical deficiencies during the next non-flush period.

Mr. G. Brown

As indicated in my right hon. Friend's reply on 5th April to my hon. Friend, the Member for Norfolk, South-West (Mr. Dye), we are asking the United Kingdom poultry industry to do its best, with the resources available, to rear more birds for the table, but I should deprecate any indiscriminate slaughter of laying birds. I do not anticipate that total egg production in 1951 will be materially different from that in 1950, but I hope that a greater proportion of that production will be achieved in the autumn and winter months through the operation of the seasonal scale of prices. This scale is being widened this year so as to give more encouragement to winter egg production, and the Ministry of Food pay more to their overseas suppliers in the winter than in the spring. As a further measure to even out supplies, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Food is storing some of the home spring supplies and is arranging for overseas suppliers to store substantially more eggs for us than hitherto.