§ 19. Mr. LAMBERT
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the railway companies charge a higher 484 rate for the conveyance of grain than, for the transport of meal; and whether, as this gives a preference to the port as compared with the country miller, he will take steps, by legislation, or otherwise, to abolish such preference and thus secure equality as between port and country millers?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
As my right hon. Friend is aware the railway companies are required by the Local Government Act, 1929, to give rebates on the carriage charged for certain classes of agricultural commodities. These traffics are embodied in the eleventh schedule to the Act and were specially selected after consultation with the agricultural industry. They include fertilisers and feeding stuffs in common use (other than whole grain), potatoes, milk and livestock, and an extension of the list of commodities would involve a reduction in the amount of the rebate for those already included. In the circumstances, I cannot see my way to propose any alteration in the list such as my right hon. Friend suggests.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
Is the Minister not aware that he is penalising the country millers, whereas we ought to encourage them?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
These rebates were given, as the right hon. Gentleman will be well aware, after full consultation with the agricultural industry.