Poultry Feeding-Stuffs.

Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies. – in the House of Commons on 15th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether, in view of the shortage of poultry food it is proposed to revert to the production of white flour, so as to make more offals available for poultry foods?

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Having regard to the fact that I was assured, when I asked a question on this matter, that it would not stop the supply of poultry food, as other arrangements had been made, can the hon. Gentleman give an explanation?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

That is a different question.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

No. The shortage of poultry food is due to the fact that poultry food is now going into the wholemeal loaf.

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

I should like to see the terms of the undertaking which was given to the hon. Gentleman and which is not in my mind at the present moment.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

The grist which used to feed the poultry is now going into the loaf, and that is why we are to be deprived of eggs.

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

That undoubtedly is the case. When the Government decided to raise the rate of extraction, it was in order to provide shipping space for more vital military purposes. Because of that fact my noble Friend can hold out no hope for the time being of altering the decision which has been come to.

Photo of Colonel William Carver Colonel William Carver , Howdenshire

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the new poultry reduction scheme originated with his Department; whether it was submitted before notification to any organisation closely identified with the poultry industry; and whether he will give the names of such bodies and the nature of their comments on the proposal?

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

A revision of the scheme for rationing feeding-stuffs for domestic poultry was necessitated by the exigencies of the supply position. The method of effecting the reduction was worked out in my right hon. Friend's Department in consultation with other Departments concerned. The decision to put the revised scheme into operation was made after the Domestic Poultry Keepers' Council and the Scottish Gardens and Allotments Committee had been given an opportunity of expressing their views on it.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, in view of the serious loss by this new Order to individuals who were encouraged to keep poultry, and also to the public in the loss of eggs, any inquiry has been made as to the substitutes which would be available in order to take the place of the reduction in balancer meal which would enable the wholesale slaughter of valuable fowls to be reduced?

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

I can assure the hon. Member that every conceivable consideration was given to the subject prior to this decision being reached.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

What I asked was whether the public can be told what substitutes are available which would enable them to keep some of their valuable fowls which would otherwise be slaughtered. Will inquiries be made as to whether it is not possible to get some substitute for this balancer meal?

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

All kinds of foods suitable for this purpose are pretty well known to commercial and domestic poultry keepers, and quite an army of leaflets has been circulated giving the information for which the hon. Member asks.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Yes; but could not a short statement be issued now to meet the present emergency and save the slaughter of valuable poultry?

Photo of Mrs Mavis Tate Mrs Mavis Tate , Frome

Was any consideration given to the possibility of rationing commercial poultry breeders on egg production in the same way that cows are rationed on milk production, or is that impracticable?

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

The hon. Lady is perhaps not aware that commercial poultry keepers have already suffered a succession of cuts, and there is also a further cut on 1st September, which means that rations will only be provided to commercial poultry keepers on the basis of one-eighth of the number of birds kept in 1939.

Photo of Sir Joseph Lamb Sir Joseph Lamb , Stone

Has this matter of substitute foods been brought before the Allotments Association to see whether they can help?

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

I think that the question of alternative food has been discussed almost ad nauseam by poultry clubs and other organisations dealing with poultry.