Feedingstuffs (Increased Rations)

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd November 1949.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Macpherson Mr Thomas Macpherson , Romford 12:00 am, 3rd November 1949

asked the Minister of Agriculture what increased quantities of animal feedingstuffs it is intended to issue this winter to remedy the shortage of animal feed caused by the recent prolonged drought.

Mr. T. Williams:

As my right hon. Friend the Minister of Food has been able to buy increased supplies of coarse grain from non-dollar sources, we shall be able to make a special non-recurrent issue of extra rations of cereal feedingstuffs this winter for cattle, pigs and poultry to offset the effects of the drought. It will also be possible to make some improvements in the ration scales for domestic pig and poultry keepers, including members of pig clubs. I am circulating details of these ration changes in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Some of the increases will come into operation on 1st December, and the remainder on 1st January. I would emphasise that, in view of the uncertainty of future supplies of animal feedingstuffs from non-dollar sources, these changes in no way diminish the need for an increased tillage acreage and the maximum possible degree of self-sufficiency in animal feedingstuffs.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macpherson Mr Thomas Macpherson , Romford

While thanking my right hon. Friend for this good news, may I ask him to indicate to the House now which categories of livestock will benefit from these increased rations and also how domestic food producers will be affected—I mean the backyard poultry keeper, the small pigkeeper and domestic food producers of that kind?

Mr. Williams:

Fat cattle, dairy cows, calves between six and 12 months of age being reared either for milk, or beef, commercial pigs and poultry and domestic pigs and poultry. The total weight of cereals involved is 600,000 tons for the four winter months for commercial breeders and feeders and 140,000 tons per annum for domestic poultry keepers.

Photo of Mr Victor Collins Mr Victor Collins , Taunton

Will there be any special benefit to holders of less than one acre who have no previous entitlement?

Mr. Williams:

I am afraid the all-over rationing scheme is not being changed at this moment, but we are having a special review with that idea in mind.

Mr. Vane:

Could the right hon. Gentleman tell us what categories of feedingstuffs are going to be issued?

Mr. Williams:

I think cereals, since proteins are not in sufficient supply.

Mr. Vane:

Maize, or what is it?

Mr. Williams:

Barley, maize or the whole general combination of mixtures.

Photo of Mr Henry Usborne Mr Henry Usborne , Birmingham Acock's Green

When does the increased ration for domestic poultry poultry keepers come into operation?

Mr. Williams:

That, I think, is 1st January.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

Does it mean that this increase will still be tied to the 1939 ration, or will it be in the form of a bonus issue such as was given last year?

Mr. Williams:

I think they will be given by the easiest means possible in the form of a bonus to all registered producers entitled to coupons.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Uvedale Corbett Lieut-Colonel Uvedale Corbett , Ludlow

Will the right hon. Gentleman try to relate all these issues of feedingstuffs more closely to production and productive capacity, rather than to the pre-war basis as at present?

Mr. Williams:

I think the idea is to keep the bonus scheme on a basis of known deliveries.

Photo of Mr Henry Berry Mr Henry Berry , Woolwich West

In view of the large number of rabbit keepers in South-East England will my right hon. Friend say whether they too will benefit?

Mr. Williams:

I am afraid we do not consider rabbits, except their possible extermination.

Photo of Sir Malcolm Stoddart-Scott Sir Malcolm Stoddart-Scott , Pudsey and Otley

Does that mean that my constituent, Mr. Clayburn, may get some feedingstuffs?

Mr. Williams:

Yes, the same increase as every domestic producer.

Following is the statement:

Special Non-Recurrent Ration Issues for Commercial Stock.

  1. 1. Fat Cattle.—To improve the condition of cattle being fattened for slaughter during January to June, 1950, inclusive an allowance of 4 cwt. of cereal will be given on application to the County Agricultural Executive Committee (in Scotland, the local offices of the Department of Agriculture for Scotland). Application should be made before 15th December and the issue will be in 1 cwt. cereal coupons per beast per month for the four months starting December.
  2. 2. Dairy Cows.—The "cereal deduction" of 60 1b. of cereal per cow per month will be suspended completely during the two months December, 1949, and January, 1950, which will have the effect of reducing the level of self-sufficiency in cereals to that required in protein, namely, the first half gallon per cow per day. During February to April, 1950, inclusive, the level of self-sufficiency in cereals which farmers are expected to attain, i.e., the first 1½ gallons of milk per cow per day, will be reduced to the first gallon. The "cereal deduction" for those last three months will thus be reduced to 48 1b.
  3. 3. Calves 6 to 12 months being reared for milk or beef.—From December, 1949, to April, 1950, inclusive, the monthly ration will be increased by ¼ cwt. cereal, bringing the ration up to 1 cwt. cereal and ¼ cwt. protein.
  4. 4. Commercial Pigs and Poultry.—A supplementary issue of cereal amounting to 50 per cent. of the total combined protein and cereal ration already issued under the basic and extended schemes for the period September to December, 1949, will be made in the course of this month in cereal coupons without the need for application.

Revised Ration Scales for Domestic Pigs and Poultry.

The following revised scales will apply from 1st January, 1950, until further notice:

  1. 1. Pig Clubs.—The monthly ration of pig food will be increased from 70 1b. to 84 lb. per pig if kept by club members.
  2. 2. Other domestic pigs.—The monthly ration will be increased from 56 1b. to 70 1b., and will in future consist of balanced pig food as supplied to pig clubs.
  3. 3. Domestic Poultry.—The monthly allowance of balancer meal will be increased from 4 1b. to 5 1b. for each surrendered shell egg registration.

All the above changes relate to Great Britain. A separate statement will be issued as regards Northern Ireland.