Mr. De la Bère:
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the Government are aware of the rise in both lime and basic slag which has taken place since the introduction of the scheme for land fertility by the Government; that the rise has, to a large extent, offset the grant made by the Government; and what steps the Government are taking to prevent a further rise?
The facts are not as stated. Since the introduction of the land fertility scheme, the price of basic slag has been reduced, and producers of lime have, in general, been approved as suppliers on condition that the prices charged by them under the scheme do not exceed those normally ruling on 1st May, 1937, that is, before the proposals were announced.
I am not at all aware of the particulars upon which my hon. Friend founds his general allegation, but if he has any cases of the contravention of the provisions of the scheme, I hope that he will be good enough to bring them to my notice.
Yes, Sir. I have received a memorial signed by 108 producers of lime asking for an increase in the permitted price because of the increase in the costs of production. The scheme itself has provided for such an eventuality by means of an independent accounting examination, and that is now being undertaken.
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the Land Fertility Committee proposes to issue an explanatory memorandum of what is required to enable an association of smallholders to be approved for the purposes of the land fertility scheme?