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Agriculture

Volume 237: debated on Thursday 3 April 1930

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Arable Farming

95.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will now state when it is intended to introduce proposals to deal with the depression in arable farming?

A considerable number of proposals, some of them of a very complicated nature, are being examined by the Government, and my right hon. Friend is not in a position at present to say when that examination will be completed.

Beet-Sugar Production

96.

asked the Minister of Agriculture the quantity of beet sugar which was produced in this country during the season which has just ended?

The quantity of beet sugar produced in Great Britain during the manufacturing season 1929–30 was 5,789,784 cwts.

Beep (Grading And Marking)

97.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if the system of grading and marking British beef will be established shortly in West Wales; and, if so, in which town?

The question of the extension of the National Mark Beef Scheme to other centres in England and Wales is under consideration.

Land Drainage Scheme, Billinghay South

98.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has considered the Billinghay South district drainage scheme; and what decision has been arrived at?

The scheme referred to by the hon. Baronet has been approved for a grant of 75 per cent. of the wages bill, subject to the scheme being carried out to the satisfaction of the Ministry.

Wheat Production

99.

asked the Minister of Agriculture the quantity of wheat produced in Great Britain for the 1928 and 1929 seasons?

The estimated production of wheat in Great Britain in 1928 and 1929 was 1,328,000 tons and 1,329,000 tons respectively.

Russian Cereals (Imports)

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that cargoes of Russian cereals are being refused entry to certain Continental countries and are being dumped into British ports; and whether he proposes to take any steps to combat this menace to British agriculture?

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone (Commander Bellairs) on 27th March, of which I am sending him a copy.

Airships (Mooring Masts)

101.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the number of mooring masts for airships now in existence in this country and the intentions of his Department with regard to their increase?

There is only one mooring mast in this country suitable for R100 and R101, but the question of erecting additional masts will be considered when further experience has been gained with the present airships.

Safeguarding Duties (Wrapping Paper)

102.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he has received a petition signed by 176 British manufacturers and merchants, responsible for the employment of 78,000 workpeople, urging an early repeal of the Wrapping Paper Duty on the ground of its being a burden on the consuming trades; and, if so, what action he proposes to take?

The answer to the first part of the question is an the affirmative. As regards the second part, I cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget statement.

Will the hon. Gentleman pass the petition on to the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

Fishing Industry, Scotland

104.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether a deputation representing those fishermen who use the ring-net method will be received either by him or by the representatives of the Fishery Board?

The Fishery Board will be glad to arrange for the reception of a deputation from the fishermen in question if so desired.

Kenya (Native Songs And Dances)

103.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the unrest among the Kikuyu in Kenya and that they openly threaten the wives and families of the white settlers if their customs are interfered with; and whether proper steps are being taken to protect the settlers in case of trouble?

My Noble Friend is expecting full information by despatch from the Governor of Kenya in regard to recent incidents in the Kikuyu Reserve. He is not aware that special measures for the protection of life have been thought necessary; but he feels sure that if cir- cumstances should make it desirable at any time to adopt measures to that end in the Kikuyu Province or any other part of the Colony—and on his present information he does not anticipate that such a situation will arise—the Government of Kenya may be relied upon to take the necessary action.

If I give the hon. Gentleman letters from some of the local newspapers, will he consider them?

Empire Settlement (Domestic Servants)

106.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs how many centres are now in operation for the training of young persons for domestic service and for filling posts overseas through the assistance of such organisations as the Salvation Army, Church Army, etc.; and how many such persons are there now receiving training?

His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are co-operating in the maintenance of seven residential training centres for women intending to take up household work overseas. There are at present 131 women in training at these centres. In addition, they co-operate with the Scottish Council of Women's Trades in a scheme for training women in individual homes in Scotland. Sixty-eight women are at present undergoing such training.

House Of Commons (Lighting)

107.

asked the First Commissioner of Works why the lighting system of the passages of the House of Commons is being changed and at what cost to the taxpayers?

The lighting of many of the corridors at the House of Commons is inadequate and unsatisfactory, and improvements are being made after repeated representations from Members of this House. The work is also in part due to the fact that, in any case, the wiring required renewal. The estimated cost for completing the relighting of the principal corridors of the House of Commons, including the rewiring, is £750.

Singapore Dock (Cement)

108.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if the cement used in the construction of the Singapore Dock is of British origin?

The answer is in the affirmative.