The Interests Of Producers
Unemployment Insurance At the recent annual meeting of the National Farmers' Union in London, Mr_ Holt Wilson charged the Pigs Committee with having failed in its duty during the past two years in looking after the interests of its members at the Pigs Marketing Board.
He said that 800,000 pigs had been contracted for by curers' agents who wielded 40,000 votes, and the result had been an inevitable trend in the policy of the board which drove the small producers into the hands of the curers' agents.
It was the duty of the Pigs Committee to see that it did not happen and that the board should be a producers' board run by producers for the producers.
The Retail Price Mr. Oakes (Worcestershire) said that the whole scheme should be washed out. " Let the curers buy pigs how and where they can. Competition would be restored, and that is what we want."
Mr. Bourne, of Cheshire, said that registered producers in his county were demanding that a mass meeting should be called with the object of having their 1936 contracts revoked.
Producers would only receive over the last four months about sixpence a pound for their bacon and pork.
" Look in the shops and see what the consumers are paying for it," he exclaimed. " The retail price bears no comparison with what the farmers and curers are receiving."
A Farm Products Week A Northumberland delegate suggested that the agricultural tableaux staged in London by the National Farmers' Union in the Lord Mayor's Show should be followed up by similar displays in provincial cities and towns. He would like a farm products week to be organised.
Major R. H. Dorman-Smith, M.P., said that the matter was under consideration by a committee.
Barley Growers' Dissatisfaction The meeting was attended by delegates from all parts of the country.
Mr. L. M. du Pre (East Yorks) said that he had been instructed to express the grave dissatisfaction of barley growers that another year had passed without any assistance having been obtained.
" I represent one of the largest barley growing districts in the country," he added. " The plight of the farmers is very bad. The last season was not only the worst in living memory, but the worst on record, and unless something is done 1 am afraid that distress will be very great.
" Why should this branch of the industry be practically the only one unhelped?"
Nationalisation of Electricity When the commercial committee reported that the union had informed the government of the farmers' dissatisfaction with electricity supplies, a member told the meeting that for six years he had had an electricity line within 200 yards of his farm-house and had not been able to get a supply.
" I think the union made a mistake when it did not go out for the nationalisation of electricity," he said.
Mr. R. G. H. Maddy, chairman of the committee, said that they would shortly consider a resolution from one of the Welsh counties asking for the nationalisation of electricity supply.
" An Election Ramp"
The labour committee reported that representations had been made to the minister that the time was most inopportune for the introduction of legislation on the basis of the recommendations of the 'Statutory Committee on Unemployment Insurance in Agriculture.
Mr. Morton (Cheshire) said that he considered that the promise of a scheme of unemployment insurance for agricultural workers was an election ramp on the part of the government.
In Cheshire there was practically no agricultural unemployment, and many farmers would be unable to carry on without imported Irish labour.