HC Deb 14 March 1917 vol 91 cc1074-5
53. Major NEWMAN

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the uncertainty that exists as to the powers and spheres of operation of the President of the Board of Agriculture, the Controller of Food, and the Director of the Supply of Food; are the President, the Controller, and the Director co-ordinate and co-equal in their powers and spheres of operation, or is the Director a subordinate official of one of the other two officers; and, if so, of which?


I am informed that the President of the Board of Agriculture is alone responsible for any action taken by the Director-General of Food Production, who was appointed by him and acts under him. The Food Controller has no authority or control over the President's action, except so far as he controls the production and distribution of food. The position of the Food Controller and the President of the Board of Agriculture is that the Food Controller controls the distribution of food that has been produced and therefore fixes prices. With regard to the prices of food not yet produced the Food Controller consults the Board of Agriculture, and their consent is necessary to the prices at which wheat, oats, and potatoes for the harvest of 1917 are to be sold.


Will the Food Controller regulate the price of seed potatoes, or is not that a matter of food production?


Will the Director of Food Supplies have separate offices and a separate staff, or will he be under the Minister of Agriculture?


He is to be a member of the staff of the President of the Board of Agriculture.


Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman be appointed to go after the rabbits?