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Volume 390: debated on Thursday 3 June 1943

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Bovine Tuberculosis (Immunisation)


asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has considered a letter in "The Farmer and Stockbreeder," of 20th April, a copy of which has been sent to him, describing the satisfactory results obtained at Pembury in Kent, in immunising a dairy herd against tuberculosis; and whether he will investigate the methods therein described?

The reply to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. With regard to the latter part, there is no scientific evidence that the method of treatment referred to has any value for immunisation against tuberculosis, but I shall be prepared to consider any such evidence that may be submitted.

Government Policy

48 and 49.

asked the Minister of Agriculture (1) whether he has now had an opportunity of fully considering the plans and proposals put forward by the Council of Agriculture for England; and what conclusion the Government have come to regarding these matters?

(2), whether it is the policy of the Government to establish commissions to control the import and distribution of foodstuffs and the development of marketing ports at the earliest opportunity after the cessation of hostilities; and what steps the Government are taking to ensure that there shall be no restriction of home production in future years?

I have received the report on long-term agricultural policy adopted by the Council of Agriculture for England at their meeting on 26th May, and this report, along with those published in recent months by other bodies, will receive full consideration. As to the other points, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by the Deputy Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Harborough (Mr. Tree) on 11th May.

Are we to understand that all relevant facts are being considered and that the usual Government policy of stagnation will be vigorously pursued?

Is it not a fact that this Council is representative of all sections of the agricultural community, and will the right hon. Gentleman give some indication of whether the Government's policy is one of approval of the report?

Uncultivated Land, Industrial Areas


asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that there are large plots of land in industrial areas suitable for cultivation lying idle and derelict; is he satisfied that his Department or the local authorities have got sufficient powers for taking over such land for cultivation purposes, either as allotments or by local farmers; and, if not, will he take further powers?

I am not aware that any large extent of land suitable for cultiva- tion in industrial areas is lying idle and derelict, but if the hon. Member will quote any specific instance, I shall be glad to look into it. I am satisfied that my existing powers under Defence Regulations are adequate to secure the cultivation of any such land, so far as is practicable.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that speculators bought land before the war and cleared off allotment holders and are now holding up that land for building purposes, so that at present it is lying derelict, although it might be made to serve a useful purpose in growing food?

I have just said that I did not know of any cases. If the hon. Member has a specific case and will let me have the particulars, I will have it dealt with.