HC Deb 29 May 1933 vol 278 cc1655-76

9.26 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 7, to leave out lines 1 to 39, and to insert instead thereof the words: (b) he is a producer under one of the schemes for regulating the marketing of the secondary product to which the development scheme applies. I shall explain briefly the purpose of this Amendment, which will very much abridge the Clause if it is carried. This Clause deals with the effect of development schemes and lays down a procedure by which development schemes are to control the production of secondary products. Sub-section (1) states: A development scheme may require that no person shall produce the secondary product in any premises in the area to which a related marketing scheme for regulating the marketing of that product applies, unless either— (a) he is exempt from registration under that marketing scheme; or We propose to leave out the words of the Sub-section that follow, and to insert the words in the Amendment This drastic condensation of the Clause is intended to prevent the coming into operation of a very dangerous scheme of licensing and of conditions under which licences may be issued, or denied, or revoked after being issued. The House will notice that one of the conditions which we regard as very dangerous indeed is that the Development Board may be empowered to grant a producer's licence subject to such conditions as the board, having regard to the interests of the persons registered as producers under the related marketing schemes, think necessary for promoting efficient production of the said product in the premises to which the licence relates or for preventing or reducing excessive production of that product, and may further empower the development board to revoke a producer's licence if any condition subject to which the licence was granted is contravened. The House, in giving a Second Reading to the Bill, did not mean to approve provisions which are not for the development or expansion of the agricultural industry or of the manufacture of secondary products but which, in certain conditions, provide for the curtailment and restriction of production or of what is termed excessive production of the various products at home. This Clause, to which we raise objection, makes it possible for a licence to be granted only on the condition that the applicant pledges himself to restrict production of various kinds of agricultural products in this country. We object very strongly to that being done, or even contemplated.

We on this side of the House have supported this Bill and have worked as diligently in Committee as Members supporting the Government to make it a workable Bill. We did not lose the opportunity in Committee of voicing our objection to this point. We raise it again now, and we ask the House to give careful attention to what is contained in the words we propose to leave out. By those words the House will be committed to the endorsement of a plan which will mean that, instead of agricultural production being increased in this country, there may be a considerable reduction of the production of agricultural products of one kind or another. It is to us a mystery which has not been cleared up by the speeches we have heard to-day. No one in the House yet knows the Government's plan. Nobody knows whether the Bill is designed to expand and to increase agricultural production at home. We know, in a general way, that the Government are committed to an increase of the prices of primary products, including agricultural products, at home and abroad. We know quite well that a scarcity of goods in our home markets may be exploited for the purpose of raising prices. We know quite well that the limitation of imports from abroad may mean a smaller volume of food imports and yet here we find that a definite bar to production may be one of the conditions under which a producer's licence may be issued by the Development Board. We propose to omit that condition because, if it is left in, there is a grave danger that these Development Boards, working solely in the interests of producers and with no representation of the consumer on them, may make it a condition of granting licences that producers shall reduce their production.

We made a protest against this provision in Committee, and we were told by the Noble Lord opposite that we should not object to it because we were living in very strange times. The argument then used—and it has been used again to-day—was that we were living in a period of glutted markets, and that we must defend ourselves from foreign products. That may be all right but, in addition to that, we are told that it is not sufficient to regulate imports from foreign countries but that we must also defend ourselves against the glut at home. The Noble Lord opposite said that we must protect ourselves against surplus production at home. The argument used is as follows: Suppose the normal acreage of potatoes is planted this year and it is found that the crop is likely to be abnormally heavy. That is ordinarily a thing of good fortune, but the Noble Lord says that it is a terrible menace, that prices will fall, and that we must guard ourselves against a fall in prices. The Noble Lord said that it would be necessary to issue licences in order to prevent a glut in our own production; in order to prevent what would, in ordinary times, be regarded as goor fortune—the result of the smiles of nature upon the labours of the producer. The Noble Lord said it would be necessary, in such a case, to limit production and to give licences to manufacturers only to produce an agreed quantity. That argument, I admit, was not applied in connection with this—

Viscount WOLMER

It was not applied in connection with the development schemes. There could not possible be a glut of sausages for instance.


There might be.

Viscount WOLMER

Not produced by nature.


Someone might invent a new sausage machine like that wonderful machine of which we have seen illustrations—the animal going in alive at one end and the sausages coming out at the other. There might be a glut even of manufactured secondary products. The principle to which we object is that there should be limitation of production under the sanction of an Act of Parliament. We were told that the intention of this Measure was to increase the production of agricultural products and of the secondary products manufactured from those agricultural products. If that is not the intention, then the country ought to know. I feel sure the country will not put up with this elaborate machinery of regulations and licences if the sole intention is to restrict the production and supply of commodities. If the Bill is designed to cause greater production at home and larger employment, both on the land and in the manufacture of secondary products, a good many people will ovErieok theoretical or political objections to it, but if it is designed to reduce production and to raise prices, then the people of the country will not ovErieok those objections. We believe that a much more direct way of regulation and of carrying on the development boards is proposed in the Amendment.

9.38 p.m.

Viscount WOLMER

I only rise to point out to the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. D. Grenfell) that he cannot have it both ways. Hon. Members opposite have always asked for the planning of agriculture and I have admired them for taking that line. That is the contribution which they have made to the solution of the agricultural problem and when they were in office they made an attempt, praiseworthy in many ways, in that direction. But you cannot have a planning of agriculture unless you give the development boards powers such as are contained in this Clause. The hon. Member opposite maintains that this is a power of restricting output but general control naturally implies that power among others. The object, however, is not to restrict but to develop as one can see even by the name of the boards. In order to secure a planned development, instead of haphazard development such as we have had in the past, it is necessary to give the boards these powers. That does not mean that a board is going to set about restricting the production of secondary products by every means it can employ. This is merely a necessary sanction to enable the boards to carry out that planned development for which hon. Members opposite have always asked. I suggest to hon. Members who are trying to create a scare on this subject that they have found a mare's nest. They are in a position in which they ought not to be at all, because they have taken a very honourable part on this question of the planning of agriculture and this Clause merely carries into effect one of the principles for which they have frequently contended.

9.40 p.m.


The Noble Lord says that the object of the Clause is not to stop production, but the Clause allows that to be done. The development boards can stop production, can regulate production, can buy or sell property, can grant compensation, can take over the powers of marketing boards, can insure, advertise or transport agricultural products, and can demand from holders of licences a full disclosure of their accounts. I drew attention in Committee to many things in this Clause and the Minister kindly answered my points in a letter but I am not satisfied with the answer. One of my points concerned the position of a producer of a secondary product having to purchase his primary product within a given area. The Minister will not object if I read from his letter on that point: It is competent for a marketing board regulating the sale of a primary product to determine the persons to whom the product may be sold and thus to prohibit sales to persons outside certain areas but I can conceive of no circumstances in which such a course of action would be to the benefit of the producer. That may be true, but although such a case is not likely to arise, because of the areas of the scheme, yet I think it would be better if the Clause made it clear that choice of market would be guaranteed. The case which I had in mind was that of a secondary producer who bought from several areas under several marketing schemes. The Amend- ment would make it clear that that secondary producer was not to be limited in his purchases to one particular area but could go outside to other areas providing those areas were within marketing schemes generally. As I read the Clause, particularly down to line 39, a development board may grant licences subject to such conditions as are necessary for preventing or reducing excessive production, and the board is to have regard to primary producers under the related marketing scheme. Suppose a producer of a secondary product used Colonial or foreign raw material. Could a development board say to that firm, "Your production is excessive because of your purchase of Colonial or foreign imports"? Could it be made a condition of the firm's licence to produce that it should cease or reduce its oversea trade?

I would also like the Minister to inform the House as to how a secondary producer would fare under the milk scheme. Would he be free to buy in any area or confined to one area only? The Amendment, if carried, would allow a secondary producer not to go outside a marketing scheme but to go into different areas. I assure the Minister that my purpose in supporting this Amendment is not to show any antagonism to marketing schemes as such, but to try to make the machinery clearer and to secure that a secondary producer should not be tied to a given area. Is it not possible, either at this stage or in the other House, to make it clear that secondary producers would have freedom of expansion outside a given area?

9.46 p.m.


As to the general position, there is little to add to the observations made by my Noble Friend the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer). It is, of course, a pity that planning means selection, and that selection means saying, "We shall have this and not that," and, unfortunately, if you choose not to go in for unrestricted production, you must go in for production which you are bound to restrict in some way or other. With that primary axiom, let me say that it is necessary to have these powers even where there is not only no intention to reduce production, but where the Government have specifically accepted a plan allowing for a rapid expansion of production. This arises out of the Lane Fox Report, which the Government accepted, and in that report not merely is there no suggestion of reducing the amount of bacon produced in this country, but the rate of expansion, which has been accepted by the Government, is laid down, and that is an expansion at the rate of 10 per cent. every four months. I do not know any other industry in the country that is likely to get an increase of 10 per cent. in four months, and I am sure there are many industries which would be only too glad if they could look forward to a 10 per cent. annual increase, let alone 10 per cent. every four months.

But from the very fact that such an increase is contemplated it is necessary to ensure that when processers are being licensed for production expanding on that scale and at that rate, it must be granted that the licence shall provide, if necessary, for preventing or reducing excessive production of that product; otherwise you get, what one so often finds in processing plants all over the country, and indeed all over the world just now: some smart fellows see a chance to set up a factory and unload it on the public, rush in, and erect plant for the processing of a product that they have no plan for getting hold of. There is a scramble for the raw products, which forces up prices, there is a subsequent slump, and the processers and workers are left to carry the weight of a great expansion of factory plant which there is no means subsequently of using.

The Noble Lord mentioned the canning industry. There is indeed considerable danger of such an unregulated development taking place in the canning industry just now, and there is nothing easier, as we know, than for company promoters to run up premises to deal with a product which looks to the eyes of the investing public a genuine thing. What could be more genuine than the best kind of British plums or green peas? But they find that the factory was built to sell, not to can, and sooner or later the plum or pea producers have to bear the expense, not only of the economic factory which is running, but of the redundant factory which has to be shut down. To deal with such problems it is imperative that such powers as we are asking for should be granted.

My hon. Friend the Member for South Bradford (Mr. Holdsworth) put two specific points. He asked if a processer could still buy outside his area. I should think, in the instances which he gave, that there would be no bar whatever to his going outside his area. Take his suggestion as to whether a processer could be stopped because he was buying colonial or foreign stuff. No. If the importation of a given amount of colonial produce is allowed, it is clearly within the power of any processer to purchase and utilise it. The hon. Member's final question was whether in a milk scheme a man would be allowed to go outside his area. Certainly he would. Supplies drawn from outside his area would be subject to an equalisation fee when coming into the area, but he would certainly have the right to go outside. I hope the House will face up to these difficulties. They are inherent in planning, and we are taking the great step of moving into the region of planned agriculture. Let us face boldly up to the problems which it involves. They will require close supervision by this House and by the country, but this is the line which we shall have to follow, and I beg the House to face up to it.

9.53 p.m.


I fully appreciate the necessity of endowing some authority with power to prevent financial ramps. I understand that there may be certain sharp folk who will exploit the new agricultural situation and gull the public, but I want to put to the Minister a concrete case, which refers to my own constituency. Some time ago three very reputable business men appreciated the possibilities of bacon-curirjg in West Wales. They had three large counties, and they felt that there were great possibilities in that area, so they proposed erecting a factory. I do not think there was much doubt as to the acquisition of Capttal, and they were prepared to back it with their own money. Negotiations were entered into for a site, and things were moving rapidly and successfully. Those people at the moment, however, have expressed great perturbation that they might be prevented from going forward with their scheme in view of the fact that authority has to be secured from the board, and they felt that it would be unwise to proceed with an enterprise demanding £60,000 or £70,000 of Capttal without some sort of guarantee that they would be allowed to operate.

While appreciating the importance of preventing ramps, may I ask the Minister if he will be good enough to say what the position of a concern like that would be? There is no question of redundancy so far as West Wales is concerned, but there is a fear, I think, widely prevalent that perhaps certain areas would be penalised, that there would be over-centralisation, that it might be regarded that Wiltshire or Gloucestershire was close enough to Wales to provide all the curing facilities needed. What would be the position with regard to a bona fide concern of that character? While appreciating the importance of preventing ramps, I want to secure that no deterrent is placed on genuine enterprise.

9.56 p.m.


I should certainly say that an enterprise like that would have to be scrutinised from the point of view of a bona fide enterprise. There is a great amount of factory plant just now which has not become fully utilised, and it is desirable that it should be fully utilised. With the expansion such as we contemplate in the bacon-curing industry, I have little doubt that there will be opportunity for additional plant and undertakings to be put up in places where they do not exist just now. That, of course, hinges upon the progressive restriction of foreign supplies, against which my hon. Friends on the Liberal benches have frequently fulminated; but if we can secure their support for that progressive restriction I have little doubt that we shall be able to secure for the hon. Member the licence he desires, and to ensure that the supplies he desires for his own people shall be raised and cured by his own people.


May I ask if that is a definite offer? If so, I accept it.

Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, in page 7, line 31, at the end, to insert the words: (ii) that the granting of such a licence shall not be refused in respect of any premises for the production of the secondary product by a mutual trading organisation on an economic basis in order to meet the demands of its constituent organisations or members. There has already been a recognition, which was given by the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer), of the fact that a desire to help agriculture has been displayed on these benches, and no organisation has shown a greater desire for the better co-ordination of the industry than the Co-operative Movement. It has helped the industry in many ways to conform to the requirements of the Movement. Notwithstanding what has been done, it has not been able to get all the supplies of a suitable character to meet its requirements, and it has been forced to go outside the country. The outstanding example of this is bacon. The Co-operative Society have for a number of years found it impossible to get a regularity of supply and they have found it impossible, at least as far as any result has accrued, to get people producing bacon in this country to conform to the standard that was suitable. Therefore, no blame can be attached to the Co-operative Movement in putting factories up in other parts of Europe.

The Minister has made it clear that he is preparing to limit production in this country, and steps have already been taken in this Bill to limit imports. The Co-operative Movement has expended Capttal in putting up factories in Denmark, not in order to compete with anyone in this country, but because of the impossibility of receiving satisfaction from the sources of supply in this country; not because of a desire to help Denmark, but to cope with the needs of the members of the Co-operative Movement. We now say that if they are not to be allowed to get their supplies from other countries where their own factories are, they should be given recognition of that by the restriction with regard to the erection of factories in this country not being proceeded with as it is laid down in the Bill.

Viscount WOLMER

Does the Cooperative Society propose to shut down some of the factories in Denmark and open them in this country?


I am putting the case that if, because of the application of this Bill, a restriction is applied to a British factory that happens to be in Denmark—


It cannot be a British factory in Denmark.


It is British-owned. The desire is that if either immediately or in process of time there is a restriction that affects these factories, some regard should be had to the requirements of those factories in transferring their sites. I should like to refer the Minister to the quotation from the Lane Fox Commission which I made in Committee but which he offset by quoting another part of the Commission's Report. I suggest that the point which he quoted was rather more general than the one I placed before him, which was: We think that consideration should be given to curers who in the interest of both pig producers and the bacon industry at home, are prepared to transfer factory accommodation from foreign countries to the United Kingdom and especially to those who are also in a position to sell the bacon they produce direct to the consumer. I suggest that if there is any desire to conform to the recommendations of the Lane Fox Commission, this specific point can only be met by accepting the Amendment.


I beg to second the Amendment.

10.3 p.m.


As my hon. Friend will agree, we discussed this matter fairly fully in Committee. It is true that he brought forward the quotation which he has just made, and that I replied with a quotation one sentence from which I shall read to the House in case there are some Members who were not present in the Committee. The Lane Fox Commission's report, to which the hon. Member appeals, said, it is true, that consideration should be given to those producers whom he mentions. It also said: The Pig Industry Development Board should be the instrument for preparing and supervising the plan of rationalisation. The sanction of this body should be required for all new construction or for extensions or existing factories, subject to appeal to the Committee of Investigation set up under the Agricultural Marketing Act. I stand fully by that and by the desire which the Lane Fox Commission shows that it should be possible to transfer plant or potential output from foreign countries to this country, but I do not think it is possible to give a general acceptation in advance of all such applications were it only for this point, to which I am sure that my hon. Friend will attach importance. The Co-operative Movement, I understand, owns two factories in Denmark, but other private interests own 18 factories. Therefore, we cannot accept this Amendment giving free entry to two factories without at the same time bringing in nine times as many. It may be that those two factories have an output which could easily be transferred to this country, but it may also be that 18 factories could not be injected into the bacon-curing mechanism of this country without causing serious dislocation. Therefore, I am perfectly willing to give the hon. Member the assurance that I do agree that serious consideration should be given to this problem—serious and sympathetic consideration; but I find it impossible to accept the Amendment without, at the same time, pledging myself to accept also a great excess of plant which we might not be able to absorb. I ask him to consider whether he could not refrain from pressing this Amendment to a Division.

10.6 p.m.


In expressing our thanks to the right hon. and gallant Gentleman for the partial promise he has made, we recognise that unless and until development of home production does take place no transfers will be necessary, and, indeed, no transfers would take place either on the part of the co-operative movement or the owners of private factories in Denmark, Holland or Tim-buctoo. If, however, we have the assurance of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman that when any scheme is submitted to him he will bear in mind the amount of Capttal invested abroad expressly for the purpose of serving the needs of our people at home where the product was not available in sufficient quantities either at reasonable or unreasonable prices, I think we shall do well to accept the partial promise of the right hon. Gentleman.


I shall certainly undertake to bear that in mind when these things have to be considered.


I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

10.8 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 8, line 12, after the word "licence" to insert the words: (or to any person employed by him). We recognise that the time is fast moving on, and we are anxious not to prolong the Debate, and if we content ourselves with short, sharp speeches, sometimes taking and sometimes avoiding a Division, I hope the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will not feel that our points are less strong because we are not taking longer time in submitting them. The Cluase provides that In such class of cases as may be specified in the scheme or determined by the development board, compensation shall be payable by the board to any applicant for a producer's licence who is aggrieved by the refusal of the board to grant the licence. My Amendment adds to those words the words: (or to any person employed by him). I think my Amendment is a reasonable one, and I hope that on the Floor of the House the right hon. Gentleman will produce a better argument than that a similar proposition was rejected in the case of the Coal Mines Act, when the late Willie Graham was worried by its being a minority Government and he had not the power to determine what he conceived to be either right on wrong. I hope the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will give a substantial reply apart from the Electricity Act or the Coal Mines Act or any other Act. My case is a simple one. The Government are taking power to compensate any owner of property who is refused a licence to continue to produce a secondary product, and we think it is not unfair to compensate the employés of such a person. Very often those men have worked 10, 20 or 25 years for one firm, and they may constitute nine-tenths of the goodwill of the undertaking. With restriction in force prices are bound to increase, and we shall all have to pay those prices, including the man who loses his job because this particular factory is closed down. If such a man is turned out of his job because of this rationalisation scheme and no other opportunities of work are available to him, and he is also called upon to pay higher prices, we do not think he ought to be denied such compensation as may be regarded as equitable and fair. If it is fair to compensate the owner of the factory, who may not live on the premises or play any active part in the business, it is equally fair to compensate the man who has done the job, the man who really constitutes the goodwill, the man who loses his job and, in present circumstances, is almost sentenced to death, because there is no opportunity of securing another engagement elsewhere. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will forget the Electricity Act and the Coal Mines Act and will deal with his own child as he would like his own child to be dealt with.

10.13 p.m.


Nothing could be more attractive or seductive than the way in which the hon. Member has moved this Amendment, and I am particularly obliged to him,, as, indeed, all of us are, for saying that his Amendments will be dealt with briefly. If his last speech is an earnest of what the others will be, I am sure it will not mislead the House into thinking that he does not attach importance to his Amendments. I am not sure that I can respond altogether to his request to forget the Coal Mines Act, because it certainly is relevant to the principle which he wishes us to introduce into this Bill; but in practice the argument against introducing this proposal into this Bill is even stronger than it was in the case of the Coal Mines Act. This scheme presupposes certain factories being closed down, and closed down permanently, and the Capttal which has been spent upon them being, therefore, no longer of any avail, but it does not presuppose a reduced output of the particular commodity produced.

Take the case of bacon. The whole scheme is based upon a rapidly increasing output, and therefore while I can accept the view indicated by the hon. Member that men who had for years been employed in one factory—and who, he might have added, are specially skilled men— will have no further opportunity of working in that factory, it does not in the

least follow that their long-acquired skill in the matter of bacon curing will not be required in the other factories, whose output will increase. There, the House will realise, are exactly the men to whom the other factories, who are increasing their output and require a larger personnel, will naturally turn. They would not turn to men who had never done any bacon curing before. Factory B, whose output is about to be increased, will naturally turn to the employé of factory A who has been turned down.


The personnel who immediately find other employment in the same industry, because of the rationalisation process, will immediately lose compensation.


I was merely pointing out that this is a stronger case than even the Coal Mines Act for the principle for which the hon. Member is contending, for the reason that I have stated. You cannot imagine, and it would not be easy to figure, a case where a factory was closed down, and there was a better chance for the employés of that factory. So much for that very important point. The general proposition that, wherever a factory is closed down, compensation should be paid to the men employed by that factory, is one for which I would not stand, and for which I would not ask the House to stand. If that principle were adopted, we would entirely get away from any question of State support for the unemployed, because wherever a factory was closed down or men were turned out of work, they would apparently be eligible for compensation out of a fund which ex hypothesi would not exist. The general principle does not help the hon. Member any more than the particular case. I hope that these observations, though short, will be sufficient to put the House in possession of the argument for which the hon. Member so eloquently pleaded.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 41, Noes, 227.

Division No. 204.] AYES. [10.17 p.m.
Attlee, Clement Richard Cripps, Sir Stafford Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)
Banfield, John William Daggar, George Groves, Thomas E.
Batey, Joseph Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Grundy, Thomas W.
Brawn. C. W E. (Notts., Mansfield) Dobble, William Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Buchanan, George Edwards, Charles Hicks, Ernest George
Cape, Thomas George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Hirst, George Henry
Cocke, Frederick Seymour George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Milner, Major James Tinker, John Joseph
Lewson, John Jamos Nathan, Major H. L. Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Leonard, William Owen, Major Goronwy Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)
Logan, David Gilbert Parkinson, John Allen Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Lunn, William Price, Gabriel
McEntee, Valentine L. Salter, Dr. Alfred TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Smith, Tom (Normanton) Mr. John and Mr. D Graham.
Maxton, James Thorne, William James
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke Gower, Sir Robert Pearson, William G.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Greene, William P. C. Penny, Sir George
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Grenfell, E. C. (City of London) Petherick, M.
Albery, Irving James Grimston, R. V. Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Blist'n)
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.) Gritten, W. G. Howard Potter, John
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Procter, Major Henry Adam
Aske, Sir Robert William Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Raikes, Henry V. A. M.
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Hales, Harold K. Ramsden, Sir Eugene
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Rankin, Robert
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Ztl'nd) Rathbone, Eleanor
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Hanbury, Cecil Ray, Sir William
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Hanley, Dennis A. Rea, Walter Russell
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Harbord, Arthur Held, David D. (County Down)
Beauchamp, Sir Brogave Campbell Hartland, George A. Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury) Harvey, George (Lambsth, Kenningt'n) Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Remer, John R.
Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton) Hatlam, Henry (Horncastle) Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.
Blinded, James Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Robsrts, Aled (Wrexham)
Boulton, W. W. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George C. W. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Robinson, John Roland
Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.) Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Ropner, Colonel L.
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Holdsworth, Herbert Rosbotham, Sir Samuel
Broadbent, Colonel John Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Ross, Ronald D.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hornby, Frank Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Brown,Brig.-Gen.H.C. (Berks., Newb'y) Horsbrugh, Florence Rothschild, James A. de
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Howard, Tom Forrest Runge, Norah Cecil
Burghley, Lord Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley) Hume, Sir George Hopwood Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwan)
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Jesson, Major Thomas E. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Carver, Major William H. Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard
Castle Stewart, Earl Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Savery, Samuel Servington
Clarry, Reginald George Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West) Scone, Lord
Cochrane, Commander Hon, A. D. Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.
Colfox, Major William Philip Law, Sir Alfred Skelton, Archibald Noel
Colman, N. C. D. Leckie, J. A. Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Leech, Dr. J. W. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cook, Thomas A. Levy, Thomas Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)
Cooke, Douglas Lewis, Oswald Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Lindsay, Noel Ker Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Crooke, J. Smedley Llewellin, Major John J. Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Lloyd, Geoffrey Spens, William Patrick
Cross, R. H. Loder, Captain J. de Vere Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery) Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Mabane, William Stones, James
Drewe, Cedric MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Storey, Samuel
Duckworth, George A. V. McKie, John Hamilton Strauss, Edward A.
Duggan, Hubert John McLean, Major Sir Alan Strickland, Captain W. F.
Dunglass, Lord Macmillan, Maurice Harold Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E. Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.
Elmley, Viscount Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Margesson. Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Sutcliffe, Harold
Emrys- Evans, P. V. Marsden, Commander Arthur Tate, Mavis Constance
Erskine-Boist, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Thompson, Luke
Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) Merriman. Sir F. Boyd Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Everard, W. Lindsay Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k) Thorp, Linton Theodore
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Fielden, Edward Brockiehurst Morrison, William Shepherd Touche. Gordon Cosmo
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Moss, Captain H. J. Train. John
Fox, Sir Gifford Muirhead, Major A. J. Vaughan-Morgan. Sir Kenyon
Fraser, Captain Ian Munro, Patrick Ward. Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Fuller, Captain A. G. Nail, Sir Joseph Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Ganzoni, Sir John Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Glossop, C. W. H. Newton, Sir Douglas George C. Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Gluckstein, Louis Halle Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Wayland, Sir William A.
Glyn, Major Raiph G. C. North, Edward T. Walls, Sydney Richard
Golf, Sir Park Nunn, William White, Henry Graham
Goldie, Noel B. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Whyte, Jardine Bell
Goodman, Colonel Albert W. Patrick, Colin M. Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Wills, Wilfrid D. Womersley, Walter James TELLERS FOR THE NOES —
Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff) Captain Austin Hudson and Dr.
Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl Wragg, Herbert Morris-Jones.
Wise, Alfred R. Young, Rt. Hon.Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)

Amendment made: In page 8, line 36, leave out the words, "kind, variety of grade" and insert instead thereof the word"description."—[Major Elliot.]

10.26 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 8, line 41, to leave out paragraph (a).

I move this Amendment in order to obtain a satisfactory explanation. In this paragraph power was given for a marketing board to delegate its powers to the development board. A marketing board is subject to inquiry and investigation by the Consumers Committee. The development board, having a marketing board's powers delegated to it, may circumvent the Consumers Committee. In the original Bill the words were as follow: A development board, subject to such conditions as may be specified in the scheme, may be enabled to exercise on behalf of a constituent marketing board any powers. The words "exercise on behalf of" were amended in Committee. Now the whole powers of a marketing board can be delegated to the development board. It seems to me that the Consumers Committee have little enough power when ultimately they are appointed, and now they can short circuit any inquiry of the Consumers Committee. The development board not only deals with primary products. It has power to deal with secondary products. Therefore all kinds of industrial interests are involved, and it becomes infinitely more necessary that the Consumers Committee shall have an oversight of the development board's activities. I want the hon. Gentleman to provide us with a justification for the change that was made in Committee, and to assure us that, when the Consumers Committee is ultimately appointed, it will have power to inquire into the activities of the development boards just as in the original Bill it had power to inquire into the activities of marketing boards. If he will clear up the point, perhaps we need not press it to a Division.

10.29 p.m.


Is the hon. Member correct in saying that a marketing board can delegate its powers to a development board? Was not there an Amendment upstairs which gave the development board power to take over— not that marketing boards should delegate their powers? The right hon. Gentleman said that on Report he would make it clear that the Consumers' Council would have the same power in regard to the development boards as to marketing boards. I shall be very glad if he will make the point clear. Is it a fact that the development board can take over powers and not have them delegated to it?

10.30 p.m.


I do not think that there is any difference of view between the words used by my hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) "to delegate," and those used by the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Bradford (Mr. Holdsworth), "to take over." Actually the procedure is that the development scheme will include these powers. A development scheme, the House will recall, is put forward by the marketing boards concerned, and, therefore, it becomes immaterial whether you use the word "delegate" or the words "take over." With regard to the question asked by my hon. Friend, I can certainly give him a definite and specific assurance that the development board will be subject to a consumers' committee and an investigation committee in precisely the same way as the marketing board. With regard to the inclusion of this provision, the development board is given these powers because the two marketing boards concerned, in the respects dealt with in the Sub-section, may find it more convenient when the powers are exercised by the superior power, the development board, rather than by the inferior power constituting the marketing board. I think these are the only points which have arisen on the Amendment.


Can the hon. Gentleman direct us to the point, either in the original Act or in this Bill, where the consumers' committee will be permitted? If he cannot tell us at the moment, perhaps he will tell us later.


I will look it up.


With that assurance, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: In page 9, line 32, after the word "any," insert the word "agricultural."—[Major Elliot.]

10.33 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 9, line 39, at the end, to insert the words: (5) No provision of a development shall be deemed to empower the development board or any constituent marketing board to establish any market or slaughterhouse unless that provision in terms confers on the board a specific power to establish markets or slaughter-houses as the case may be. The Amendment seeks to make the power specific and not by implication. It is a short but very important point. Many local authorities own markets and abattoirs and have established them at great expense from public money and for the public good. I admit under the Bill that the new powers given to the development boards may require the establishment of new markets or abattoirs. If that is the case, I ask that such powers should be given by express provision in the development schemes. It should not be a question of implied powers being given to a development board. If the powers are expressly given, the local authority will know where they are, and have an opportunity of putting their case and stating what they desire to say.

The Amendment that I now move is practically in the same words as the proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section (5) of the Agricultural Marketing Act, 1931, which merely repeats a provision in the principal Act. My object is the same as the reason which led the Government of that day to insert the provision in the principal Act. I may be met with the argument that a development scheme under the Bill will not confer any powers beyond those already conferred by one of the constituent marketing authorities, but it. is one thing to give power to a marketing authority and a different thing to give it to a development authority. These powers can be exercised by development boards even if they are not specially given. In Sub-section 4 (e) there is set forth the provisions which a development scheme may contain. It may provide: (e) for such matters as are necessary for giving effect to or are incidental to, or consequential on, the provisions of the scheme made in pursuance of the foregoing provisions of this Act. Since this is a Bill to establish marketing, surely it is clear that the establishment of markets would be a power implied in the provision that I have just read. It may be a power that the Development Board have to have, but it is fairer to the local authority who have done their duty in establishing markets and abbatoirs and spent public money on them, that if competing markets are to be established they should be established under powers specifically given in the development scheme.

10.38 p.m.


I think I can reassure my right hon. Friend while it is true that in Sub-section (4) (e) it is provided that the board shall have power for such matters as are necessary for giving effect to, or are incidental to, or consequential on, the provisions of the scheme made in pursuance of the foregoing provisions of this Act, the right hon. Gentleman will see that in paragraph (a) of the same Sub-section the powers there given to the Development Board do not include sales. Therefore, there can be no power to set up a market as consequential on or incidental to provisions which do not include the power of sale. There is no power for a Development Board to establish a market. Secondly, as regards slaughter houses, a Development Board can only establish a slaughter house after deriving the power from a constituent marketing board, and the Marketing Board can only have that power if it is expressly authorised in terms in any scheme. Therefore, as regards markets, the power does not arise at all, and as regards slaughter houses, it would have to be expressly stated in the terms of the scheme.


Could not a Development Board exercise the powers of a constituent marketing board and form markets as well as slaughter houses?


No, Sir.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.