§ 35. Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the report of the Consumers' Committee on the potato marketing scheme; whether, before compiling this report, the Consumers' Committee received oral evidence from the Potato Marketing Board; and whether such evidence was invited from the distributive trade and from consumers' organisations?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
The Consumers' Committee for Great Britain have had the operation of the Potato Marketing Scheme under close and continuous review since its inception and they have made a very careful study of home supplies and prices during the period of the scheme and the years immediately preceding it. I understand that before making their report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and myself, as to the effect on consumers of the operation of the scheme, the commitee asked the board for an oral explanation of certain aspects of the working of the scheme,, but they did not invite evidence from other sources. It is open to any organisation or persons to make representations or complaints to the Consumers' Committee as to the effect of marketing schemes on consumers of the regulated products. No such representations or complaints about the Potato Marketing Scheme were, I understand, made to the committee.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
In view of the facts does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the findings of the committee are almost worthless?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
I should hope not. There were two representatives of the co-operative movement on the committee, and I should not like to stigmatise their findings as worthless.