HC Deb 15 July 1935 vol 304 cc737-8
17. Major-General Sir ALFRED KNOX

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will consider the appointment of an expert committee to decide, in the interests both of agriculture and of the general industrial economy of the country, the extent to which the Home production of each kind of foodstuff should be increased in the next few years?


I am unable to accept the suggestion of my hon. and gallant Friend. I can assure him, however, that the question of domestic production of different articles of foodstuff in relation both to the interests of agriculture and to the general economy of the country is one which the Government have constantly under consideration.


Would not the findings of such a committee tend to stabilise the industry; and would they not also strengthen the hands of the right hon. Gentleman in resisting possible future attempts of the Board of Trade to give away the interests of British agriculture in trade agreements?


I am afraid that the collective responsibility of the Cabinet would have to take precedence over the findings of any committee, however important.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the Prime Minister said recently that what agriculture wanted was fixity, and that agriculture is not likely to get fixity unless there is real planning, and does he not think that it is time the Government decided on a plan?