asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in order to stimulate the production of wheat, he will maintain the acreage payment at £4 per acre.
No, Sir. I am anxious that all suitable land coming in turn for wheat should be so planted, and I should like to see the 1945 acreage maintained. But the growing of wheat on unsuitable land—to compensate for which the system of acreage payments was introduced—would no longer be justifiable.
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that the wheat acreage for England and Wales fell by nearly 900,000 acres between June, 1944, and June, 1945, and in view of the serious food shortage and the fact that wheat stocks are below probable requirements, he proposes to take any steps to secure substantial increases in the wheat acreage for the 1946 harvest.
The food shortage applies less to wheat than to other foodstuffs. Now that exchange considerations are of more importance than the saving of shipping space, it is essential that we should use our varying types of land for the crops and livestock for which they are particularly suited. I have already announced that I want to see all suitable land that comes into turn for wheat sown this autumn, and I hope that there will be a wheat acreage in 1946 at least as big as that just harvested.