HC Deb 15 June 1921 vol 143 cc415-6
89. Lieut.-Colonel ARTHUR MURRAY

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has within the last week met in conference representatives of the Scottish and English Farmers' Unions and explained to them the attitude of the Government in connection with the proposed repeal of Part I. of the Agriculture Act, 1920; and, if so, whether he will make to the House a statement similar to that made to the mentioned representatives of the agricultural industry?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The statement to the representatives of the agricultural industry was on the same lines as the announcement I made in the House on the 8th instant, and it does not seem necessary to make any further statement to the House prior to the Second Reading of the Bill which will shortly be introduced.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

Has anything passed between the right hon. Gentleman and these representatives of the agricultural industry that the House does not know?


There have been conversations and communications of a confidential character, which are always proceeding in Government Departments, but I have nothing further to announce to the House.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

Are Members of Parliament not to be allowed to know what takes place in these conversations? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, so far as the railways are concerned, all the consultations and negotiations have taken place through Members of Parliament?


Surely the hon. and gallant Member does not expect that every confidential conversation with the officials of an office or other persons interested is to be reported verbatim immediately to the House? That would be utterly impossible.

Major M. WOOD

What was the object in bringing these farmers and other representatives of agriculture up to London if they were not to be told anything more than was told to this House?


I have told the House that all I stated to the agricultural representatives was on precisely the same lines as that which I told the House.

Major WOOD

Why bring them to London to tell them that?


Perhaps the farmers did the talking!