HC Deb 12 March 1925 vol 181 cc1502-3
46. Mr. HURD

asked the Prime Minister whether the terms of reference to the Imperial Economic Committee exclude from its purview the consideration of improved methods of marketing British home produce in British markets; and what means the Government propose to adopt in order to extend to this Home produce an encouragement at least equivalent to that given to overseas produce in the proposed State grant of a million sterling?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)

The terms of reference to the Imperial Economic Committee do not contemplate the consideration of improved methods of marketing British home produce. As my hon. Friend is aware, funds have already been provided for assisting by way of loan cooperative enterprises for the marketing of home produce, and the Ministry of Agriculture is carrying out a series of investigations into the marketing problem as a whole. The first Report will shortly be published, and it will then be possible to estimate what further assistance may be considered necessary in this direction.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that. a colleague of his, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, speaking on 10th February, declared that this Committee might, by organisation and many other ways, do a great deal to help to secure British markets for Empire goods: and when I say "Empire goods," I should like to make it clear that. I do not exclude this part of the Empire, and least of all the produce of its agriculture?


That seems to be a very complete statement of Government policy.


Before any decisions are come to shall we have an opportunity of discussing the various aspects of the ease?


Will the right hon. Gentleman see that financial arrangement is made so that any action which may be found necessary in the interest of British agriculture will not be precluded on financial grounds?


We seem to be going beyond the scope of any answer that I have been authorised by the Government to give to-day.