Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Part of Orders of the Day — Supply. – in the House of Commons on 7th June 1937.

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Mr. Lloyd George:

Will the hon. Gentleman allow me to finish my sentence? It is not worth while arguing as between 5.7 and 4.7. My own opinion is that the figure is 4.7, but I will take the 5.7, which is the census figure comparable with the figure for 1881. What does that mean? If you go to any other country in the world you will find one-third of the population on the soil, in other great countries a half of the population on the soil, in Germany a third on the soil. Then there is a fourth on the soil, and the lowest figure comparable with ours is one-fifth, and that is in Belgium. Take your 5.7. That is one-seventeenth or one-eighteenth on the soil, and during the last two years they have gone down by 60,000 or 70,000. Has not the time arrived when we should have another reconsideration of the whole of this problem? I am not blaming the right hon. Gentleman, because he has not been in office long enough to examine such a vast problem as this, and although I was rather disappointed that he did not tell us something about his long-term programme, I can well understand that he is not yet ready.