HC Deb 16 August 1916 vol 85 cc1860-1
68. Mr. G. FABER

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the, Board of Agriculture whether the Board of Agriculture holds a compulsory power of purchase over all hay in the hands of farmers in this country, at a certain price; whether he can state for how long the power extends, so that farmers may know when they are free to sell hay which is not required for their own or for Government purposes; and whether hay bought by the Government is paid for as soon as the decision to buy is notified to the owner?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. The power referred to in the first part of the question exists, but it is vested in the Army Council and not in the Board of Agriculture. This power will be exercised over all hay now standing or about to be harvested, but permission is being granted as rapidly as possible to farmers to sell any surplus over their own requirements and those of the Army. An advance payment of 50 per cent, is made within fourteen days of the notification of decision to buy, and 5 per cent, per annum, interest will be paid on the balance of the purchase money outstanding after the 31st October.


Does the Government fix the price or does it vary?


I think that the Government fixes a maximum price. It varies downwards from that price according to scale.