HC Deb 06 April 1936 vol 310 cc2403-4
31. Mr. THORNE

asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of successful prosecutions that have been taken by the Wheat Commission against farmers and millers who have made false applications for deficiency payments; the total amount paid under false pretences; and the total amount of fines to the nearest available date?


Applications for deficiency payments can only be made by persons who are registered growers, and up to the 3rd April, 1936, there have been three cases where convictions have been secured against growers of wheat for obtaining, or attempting to obtain, deficiency payments to which they were not entitled. Twenty-four registered growers were concerned in these cases. The amount of the deficiency payments in question was approximately £3,500. The total amount of the fines imposed was £615, and, in addition, the growers were required to pay a total sum of £327 towards the costs of the prosecution.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not think it would be wise, seeing that there arc so many farmers breaking the law, to put them under the means test?


Do not the figures given by my right hon. Friend show the overwhelming good faith of the huge majority of the farmers growing wheat in this country?


Yes. It is a very small number of the registered growers.

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