asked the Minister of Agriculture whether in view of the urgency of supplementing the present meat ration with pork he will forthwith increase the present farrowing sow allowance from 8 to 12 cwt. in order that the breeder of pigs may have sufficient food to feed on the young pigs to an age of 16 weeks.
No, Sir. The needs of breeders of pigs were fully considered before the Government decided upon the increases in pig rations that my right hon. Friend announced on 19th May.
How does the Minister expect to increase the pig population if he does not do something more than has already been done? Surely, it is important to secure an increase in the pig population if there is a shortage of food? I do not understand it.
The answer to the second supplementary question is that, of course, it is an important matter. The answer to the first part is that I expect it to be done by the farmers themselves becoming more self-sufficient and growing more home grown foodstuffs to supplement what we give them now.
Surely, the hon. Gentleman realises that it is impossible to expect farmers to increase their production of home-grown feedingstuffs when they are trying to increase the production of good, wholesome food for this country?
The hon. Gentleman is mixing up two unrelated things. It is quite shocking for him to say that his local farmers cannot grow more foodstuffs and become more self-sufficient.
Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that the harvest is several months away yet?