HC Deb 08 November 1934 vol 293 cc1262-4
40. Sir G. FOX

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will state how many applications for registration as a potato merchant under the Potato Marketing Scheme have been refused by the Potato Marketing Board?


asked the Minister of Agriculture what provision is being made for hearing appeals, and in what circumstances, from those whose applications for licences under the Potato Marketing Board have been rejected; and what redress these men have as a result of the loss of their livelihood?

49. Major CARVER

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the hardship caused to hundreds of potato dealers whose living is being taken away from them by a recent decision of the Merchants' Authorisation Committee of the Potato Marketing Board in not allowing them to buy from producers, who themselves are desirous of dealing with the smaller men rather than with a few authorised merchants; and whether he is prepared to remedy an injustice which must seriously affect employment in the potato industry?


Section 9 of the Agricultural Marketing Act, 1931, provides machinery for the full consideration of complaints about the operation of Marketing Schemes, but, of course, it is open to any person whose application to be included in the list of authorised merchants has not been granted, to request the Potato Marketing Board to reconsider his case. I understand that many such requests for reconsideration have been received by the board, that a large number of cases have already been reviewed, and that supplementary lists of authorised merchants will be issued.


Will the Minister use his influence with the board in order to prevent the refusal of registration to men who have been engaged in the business all their lives?


The board have already adopted a very liberal attitude towards requests for a revision of the lists that they have issued.


Is the Minister aware that very grave misapprehension has unnecessarily been caused among potato growers, and will he take steps to see that similar mistakes are not made in the future?


Surely the best thing that we can do is to ensure that hasty steps are not taken. Undoubtedly in the beginning of these schemes there is the danger that an authority may take steps which it subsequently desires to reconsider.

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