§ 50. Mr. Gerald Nabarro
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the substantial decline, during the period September, 1950, to September, 1951, in acreage in the United Kingdom devoted to vegetable production for human consumption; what are the reasons for this decline and what steps are in hand to prevent the position deteriorating further.
§ The Minister of Agriculture (Major Sir Thomas Dugdale)
I am aware of the decline to which my hon. Friend refers. Large fluctuations in the vegetable acreage are not uncommon. The exceptionally low acreage of 1951 was probably due partly to the wet spring of 1951 which delayed planting and partly to heavy supplies and consequent low prices in 1950. Prices were steadier in 1951 and I should expect some recovery in acreage in the course of this year.
§ Mr. Nabarro
Is my right hon. and gallant Friend satisfied that the recovery to which he refers will yield a total acreage of output that is approximately equal to the anticipated demand without imports?
§ Sir T. Dugdale
Horticulture as a whole is included in a survey of the problems of agriculture upon which the Government are at present engaged. I am not yet ready to make a general statement on that subject.