asked the Minister of Agriculture if, in order to eliminate unnecessary work, he will simplify the monthly form of application for rations for pedigree pigs, require full returns at six monthly instead of monthly intervals and instruct his feedingstuffs officers to accept monthly returns which only notify changes.
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will consider the earlier delivery of the bonus ration to the small domestic pig keeper; if he is aware that present arrangements create difficulty for any person who keeps an extra pig to sell to his Department, since no meal is allowed for the extra pig until it is slaughtered, and even then the owner may have to wait over three months before he receives his bonus ration; and if he will examine this position and see what can be done to encourage the small domestic pig keeper.
Mr. T. Williams:
As the bonus ration is based on deliveries of pigmeat it cannot be given in advance, but I will consider whether anything can be done to help pig keepers by making issues at more frequent intervals provided we can do this without sensibly increasing the costs of administration in money and manpower.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Question does not ask for an advance? It simply asks that the bonus ration shall be given as early as possible after the pig is delivered to the Ministry. In a case of which I know the Ministry had the pigs slaughtered over three months ago and still the bonus ration has not been received.
Every hon. Member in this House who has paid any attention to this matter at all must know that the bonus is given on the basis of deliveries in the past three months. There must be a period after the actual delivery before my Department knows what numbers of pigs, poultry or eggs have been delivered. That is, of course, a cause of delay, but once the bonus scheme is started, there is no delay at all.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that owing to the many technical and other difficulties the domestic pig keeper finds that many pigs which were to have been slaughtered for Christmas are to be reprieved?