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.
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?
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.
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?
Special Non-Recurrent Ration Issues for Commercial Stock.
The following revised scales will apply from 1st January, 1950, until further notice: