HC Deb 10 April 1919 vol 114 cc2218-20

asked the Food Controller whether his attention has been directed to a public speech at Doncaster on the 5th April last by a member of the Potato (Growers' Prices) Commission; whether he is now prepared to adopt the view of the authority in question, who was also director of vegetable supplies and responsible for the contracts made with growers of the 1918 crop of potatoes, as to the validity of claims by such growers for all wastage subsequent to 1st November, 1918, other than normal; and, if not, whether he will consult the Law Officers of the Crown on the subject?


My attention has been called to a speech made at Doncaster on the 5th April by an official of the Agricultural Organisation Society who was formerly director of vegetable supplies at the Ministry of Food. I have, however, nothing to add to the statement recently made in this House in reply to the hon. Member, which was quoted in the speech in question.


Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that in the speech in question at Doncaster the interpretation of the Commissions' finding, as announced in this House by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, was repudiated by the late Director of Supplies?


I am aware that some misunderstanding has arisen, and I regard the incident as unfortunate.

72. Captain COOTE

asked the Food Controller whether he is aware that a meeting took place between delegates of the Farmers' Union and officials of his Ministry on 4th April at which proposals with regard to the assessment of compensation for the potato crop were submitted by the latter and that these proposals were rejected by the Farmers' Union delegates as being unsatisfactory; and, if so, what action he proposes to take in order that the pledge given in this House that the promises given with regard to the potato crop would be honourably fulfilled may be carried into effect?


Representatives of the National Farmers' Union and others were recently called into consultation by the Ministry of Food, with a view to their assisting the Ministry in determining the steps to be taken for the assessment of compensation due to potato growers as the result of abnormal wastage in certain districts. I cannot at present make any statement regarding the proposals and counter proposals discussed, but the hon. Member may be assured that the representations made by the growers will receive the fullest consideration.

Lieutenant-Colonel WEIGALL

Is it not a fact that there is no real difference of opinion on principle but only on matter of detail?


I think that is what my reply indicates.

Major WOOD

Would the right hon. Gentleman be able to make a final statement upon this matter before the Adjournment?


I will endeavour to do so.

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