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Agriculture

Volume 395: debated on Thursday 2 December 1943

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Milk Production

49.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that a considerable number of milk producers are changing from milk production to other forms of farming owing to continued changes of regulations and interference by Government Departments; and to what extent the present abnormal drop of milk supplies has been added to by the decline in the number of producer-retailers?

I have no evidence which suggests that a considerable number of milk producers are giving up milk production. There has not been an abnormal drop in milk supplies. During the year ending 30th September last sales were larger than in any other war year. Sales in October, 1943, were, with one exception, the highest recorded for any month of October.

Tubercular Cows

50.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will take steps to control the disposal of cows which have reacted to the tuberculin test, with a view to preventing further infection?

Control on the lines suggested by the hon. Member would, I am afraid, not serve any useful purpose in view of the very much larger number of untested cattle which, if tested, would react. Reaction to the test does not, of course, in itself imply infection in the milk of a reactor.

Is it not a fact that reactors at present tend to get on to the market and to spread infection, and is that not a matter which the Ministry should take into consideration?

No, Sir, I do not think you can say that it is a fresh infection, because the herds are already severely infected.

Fertilisers (Sale)

51.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will take steps to protect the public from the sale of small packets of fertilisers which, on analysis, are found to be of no value?

If my hon. and gallant Friend will let me have particulars of the cases he has in mind, I shall be glad to consider them. If allotment holders and private gardeners purchase National Grow-more Fertiliser, they will have a satisfactory fertiliser at a reasonable price.