HC Deb 19 November 1914 vol 68 cc563-4

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether since farmers are discouraged from the risk and expense of additional wheat cultivation by fear of the exercise of the powers conferred on the Government by the Articles of Produce (Returns, etc.) Act, 1914, he will consider the expediency of making an official statement on the procedure, by which prices of wheat are to be fixed under that Act?


If wheat is being unreasonably withheld from the market and not otherwise, the Board of Trade have power by means of a properly authorised agent to take possession of any supplies, paying the owner such price as may, in default of agreement, be decided to be reasonable, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, by the arbitration of a judge of the High Court in England and Wales and of the corresponding Courts in Scotland and Ireland. I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for giving me this opportunity of contradicting publicly the statements made recently by certain persons to the effect that the Government have power and intend to take possession of wheat supplies at a price fixed by themselves solely in the interests of consumers.