§ The duties of the Market Supply Committee shall include a duty to give to the appropriate Ministers advice in connection with the making and operation of orders under this Act, and, if requested so to do by the said Ministers, to give them advice upon any specified matter relating to the supply of sea-fish in the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
As the Minister has taken much interest in this point, and, although I do not plead guilty to the foibles with which he credited me, may I ask him what the clause means?
§ 11.53 p.m.
§ Sir MURDOCH McKENZIE WOOD
Before the Minister replies may I ask a question This market supply committee is a committee to be appointed in the first instance under the Agricultural Marketing Act. Is that not so?
§ Sir M. WOOD
Is the Minister satisfied that the Market Supply Committee which is appointed in the first instance to deal with agricultural products will be able to advise in regard to fish? The two questions are entirely different. It is an expert committee which is going to be appointed, and it seems to me that a committee, consisting only of a Chairman and four persons, which is to advise the Minister on agriculture, cannot possibly advise him on the question of fish. That, at any rate, is what has occurred to me. Has the right hon. and gallant Gentleman considered this matter, and is he satisfied that the one committee will be able to fulfil both functions?
§ 11.54 p.m.
§ Major ELLIOT
In reply, first of all to my hon. Friend the Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams), it will, no doubt, not have escaped his attention that the Clause refers to an enactment which at the time of the introduction of this enactment had not reached the Statute Book. It was, therefore, impossible for us to do more than place it in the explanatory memorandum attached to the front of the Bill, which I have no doubt my hon. Friend read, as he reads every official document, with the greatest care and the most supreme desire for accuracy. It would show him that we intended to do what in fact we have done, and it would explain why we could not do what we could not do at that particular time, and how we have done now what we said we would do in the explanatory memorandum, and for that reason it is the first occasion upon which we can do it.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
Would it not be possible to have the Prime Minister present to explain why this or that has been done? Would he not help to make it a little clearer?
§ Major ELLIOT
I have no doubt that my hon. Friend would like to hear the Prime Minister too, but I am not sure that it is always desirable to accede to all the desires of my hon. Friend, and I am sure that on this occasion he will need to put up with the comparatively humble individual who is now 'addressing him. As for the question of my hon. Friend the Member for Banff (Sir M. Wood), I think that on the question of 2948 foodstuffs supply, the commitee reviewing the produce markets will be the appropriate committee to review the fish market as well as other produce markets. I do not think that there is any question of such experts being necessary in relation to the fish market as would not also be necessary in some respects in regard to other great produce markets which the supply committee will have to review. I can see very great advantages in the supply committee bringing within its scope all the food produce markets of the country instead of having one committee reviewing the land products and one Committee the sea products.
§ Question "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment" put, and agreed to.
§ Remaining Lords Amendments agreed to.