§ 66 and 67. Mr. GLOSSOP
asked the Minister of Agriculture (1) the number of prosecutions that have been instituted by the Milk Marketing Board, since its inception, against persons for alleged contravention of the regulations of the milk marketing scheme; and if he will state the result of such prosecutions;
(2) if he is aware that two cases of alleged contravention of the regulations of the milk marketing scheme were referred to arbitration some weeks ago; whether he will expedite a decision being reached; and whether he is aware that, owing to this delay, milk producers are questioning the power of the Milk Marketing Board to enforce the provisions of the milk marketing scheme?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Elliot)
I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the cases, three in number, in which the Milk Marketing Board have imposed penalties on registered Producers for alleged infringements of the conditions of their retail licences. In one case, the producer-retailer concerned gave notice to refer the matter to arbitration but afterwards withdrew his notice and paid the penalty in question. In another case, in which the matter was referred to arbitration, the arbitrator fixed a date for the hearing but I understand that the producer-retailer has given notice of his intention to apply for a postponement. In the third case, the matter is the subject of court proceedings. With regard to my hon. Friend's second question, I would point out that I have no power of intervention in the arbitration proceedings.
§ Mr. GLOSSOP
In view of the uncertainty which exists when a local prosecution is about to take place, will the right hon. Gentleman bring his influence to bear upon the board to ensure that the prosecution takes place as soon as possible?