Bulb Industry

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture – in the House of Commons on 19th November 1942.

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Photo of Sir Herbert Butcher Sir Herbert Butcher , Holland with Boston

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he is taking to preserve the bulb industry during the period of the war with a view to enabling it to expand and provide useful occupation after the war?

Mr. Hudson:

As regards bulbs grown in the open, the existing arrangements whereby growers may retain 25 per cent. of their pre-war acreage should enable them to maintain sufficient stocks for postwar development. As regards bulbs grown in heated glasshouses, I have recently authorised county war agricultural executive committees to allow 10 per cent. of pre-war stocks to be retained as a nucleus, or, in the case of specially valuable stocks, 25 per cent.

Photo of Sir Herbert Butcher Sir Herbert Butcher , Holland with Boston

Will the Minister impress upon those responsible the importance of mantaining the best quality bulbs?

Mr. Hudson:

Yes, Sir.

Photo of Sir Herbert Butcher Sir Herbert Butcher , Holland with Boston

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the serious financial losses caused to bulb growers by restrictions on planting and transport; that these losses are particularly felt by those cultivating small acreages; and what steps he is taking to assist them?

Mr. Hudson:

I regret that the recent restrictions on the planting and transport of flowers and bulbs necessarily involve some hardship on the growers, but the restrictions are essential in the interests of food production and economy of transport. The question of the best means of helping growers in their task of turning over to increased food production is at present under consideration.

Photo of Sir Herbert Butcher Sir Herbert Butcher , Holland with Boston

While thanking the Minister for his reply, may I ask whether he will direct special attention to those ex-Service men of the last war who are tenants of the Crown with holdings of 10 acres or so but who are not really competent to derive sufficient income from the ordinary commercial crop?

Mr. Hudson:

I will certainly bear that in mind.